Why You Should Bring Your Funeral Home into the 21st Century
July 30, 2020
By Josh McQueen, Vice President of Product
Every day, technology is making our lives easier. From cars that drive themselves to drones that deliver packages, technology companies are constantly innovating to better serve their customers. Funeral home technology is no different.
Let’s face it: it’s harder than ever to be a funeral director. With the technology available today, you can save time, streamline your processes, reduce paperwork and data entry, and have more time to spend face to face with families. Best of all, you will also have more time to spend with your own family, too!
On the flip side, those who don’t implement certain technologies early enough may lose market share to their competition. Unfortunately, the best funeral home does not always win.
To gain a deeper understanding into how funeral homes were using technology, Passare surveyed funeral directors across the nation and uncovered several gaps in technology usage. In these next three articles, I’ll go over the results of this study (which may surprise you) and share ideas about how you can differentiate your funeral home in your market!
How Do You Use Technology to Stand out in Your Market?
Based on the data from our study, approximately 30% of funeral homes use their website as a competitive advantage, nearly 15% use video, and 17% use social media. However, according to our study, 40% of funeral homes are not using technology to its full advantage in a competitive market. This means that your competitors may be taking advantage of these opportunities and reaching families before you have a chance to. The good news is the opportunity is there to differentiate yourself in your market by offering better, more convenient options for your families so that they’ll choose you.
How Do You Use Technology to Interact with Consumers?
Technology is here to stay, and consumers will gravitate to businesses that are adept at communicating in the way they prefer. Our study found that 70% of funeral homes use their website to communicate with their families, 33% use email, and 32% use social media. Only 5.91% of funeral homes are using technology to help families make arrangements online, however, in the next ten years, over 25% of funeral directors expect online arrangements to represent a major shift in how we do business. That means you need a way to help families make arrangements online and provide them with an option that works for your families and staff. The COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated the timeline for this shift.
Our study also revealed that over 30% of funeral homes have no idea how technology will change the funeral profession over the next 10 years. The reality is, those who are not looking ahead and considering the needs of the families in the area of technology will be left behind.
The new funeral consumer is driving change in the funeral profession, and a major aspect of that change is in the area of technology. Technology solutions can increase your profitability by increasing the efficiency of your staff and reducing the cost of doing business. Technology can also help you connect and communicate with families in the way they prefer, enhancing their experience with your funeral home. Now is the time to create a plan of action for bringing today’s technology into your funeral home!
Options for Technology in the Funeral Home
In our study, we found that 13.6% of funeral homes prefer pen and paper, whereas 86.4% use some sort of case management software. Using software over pen and paper saves time and reduces human error and time spent filling out forms by hand. However, not all software programs are created equal. Some are localized to one computer and charge extra for additional devices, users, updates, and even data exports. It’s important to ask questions, talk to actual users of the program, understand what kind of support you will receive, and get the highest possible ROI out of your investment in technology.
Areas Where Technology Can Help Your Funeral Home
As a funeral professional, you have many options for investing in technology for your funeral home:
- Case Management Software (an important one!)
- Customer Relationship Management Software (CRM for Sales)
- Your Website
- Memorial Printing
- Tribute Videos
- Online Payments
- Electronic Signatures
- Answering Service
- Virtual Meetings
Keep in mind that some case management systems, such as Passare, offer integrations and features that can consolidate your technology investment. For example, Passare integrates with several websites, memorial printers, and the leading answering service provider. Passare also offers online payments so arrangements can be completed remotely, if necessary. Making smart choices with your technology providers can not only save you time, but save you money as well.
Join me next week where I’ll discuss the five things to look for when choosing technology solutions in your funeral home.
For more information about bringing your funeral home technology into the 21st century, download the free “Funeral Home Technology” eBook.