Every moment after the loss of a loved one holds great meaning for a bereaved family. As such, each interaction between your funeral home and a family in need must be well thought-out from start to finish. Making sure the families have a positive experience from the moment they walk in the door is the key to building strong customer loyalty.
It is an honor to work in the funeral and cemetery profession. Providing professional and compassionate service to a family during one of the worst times of their lives is truly a higher calling.
However, designing personal and memorable funeral experiences shouldn’t take a backseat to measuring customer satisfaction. Families that are satisfied with their funeral home experience are more likely to share their story with others and recommend your services to the community. This kind of organic advertising is the best way to sustain financial success.
Get Honest Feedback
So how does a funeral home go about measuring customer engagement and satisfaction? To start, you need to have something to measure. Funeral directors can collect meaningful data by simply asking clients for feedback on their overall experience with the funeral home. You can request customer input in person after the service or via online surveys that can be filled out on your website. You can also mail out survey forms to your families, but make sure you include a pre-paid return envelope.
What kind of survey questions draw out sincere responses and honest feedback? Here are some useful ideas and strategies that can help you get the right data inputs to help you measure your funeral home’s customer experience.
First Impressions Count
As the saying goes, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” A family’s first contact with your funeral home, whether it’s on the phone or in person, is a crucial building block. Some questions that can help you analyze a customer’s initial thoughts might include:
- How was the family greeted?
- Is the greeting consistently applied at all times?
- How responsive was the staff?
Managing first impressions can provide meaningful data on how well your funeral home interacts with pre-need and/or at-need clients.
The arrangement meeting can make or break a family’s opinion of your funeral home. Funeral directors are trained to effectively manage the planning conversation, but there is always room for improvement when it comes to enhancing the experience for the bereaved family.
Strong communication skills are vital to this process, for example, how attentive are you to the customer’s needs? Do you ask open-ended questions that allow the family to share stories about their loved one? How do you show that you are listening? Funeral arrangers must be able to listen well, show empathy, and recognize body language cues to drive the conversation on a deeper level.
Another element to consider is organization. Ask, is the arrangement conference well structured? Does the family understand all of the product and service options available? Clear communication of what your funeral home offers enables the family to make informed decisions based on their personal and financial preferences. Combining all of these elements into the arrangement meeting will have a positive impact on customer experience and provide valuable insight for enhancing the conversation.
Do Looks Matter?
The appearance of your funeral home definitely matters. Customers judge the presentation of your staff and facilities, and if they see something they don’t like it’s often the first thing they share with others regarding their experience. Unfortunately, bad news always spreads faster than good news, so funeral homes need to manage all aspects of their image accordingly. To prevent bad news, ask yourself these crucial questions:
- Is your funeral home clean and well-maintained?
- Are your funeral vehicles comfortable and in good working condition?
- Is your staff professional and accommodating?
- Are your facilities clean, organized and accessible?
Paying attention to the small details will keep your customers happy and improve your funeral home’s performance reviews. These metrics can be easily measured with survey questions or a simple feedback form.
Price vs. Value
A funeral is an expensive undertaking. Funeral directors should inform families about all the available options and discuss the costs and fees associated with each choice. Planning a funeral or memorial often causes emotional and financial stress, so it’s important to clearly explain the value of your funeral home’s services and expertise in relation to price
Once the arrangements are finalized and the pricing is set, the funeral home must ensure that everything goes smoothly. Exceeding expectations is the best way to build customer loyalty and satisfaction. It’s analyzed by looking at the performance and execution details before, during and after the service, and measuring customer perceptions of value received for money paid.
Customer Experience Tracking Tool
Measuring customer experience metrics is an established management strategy that can improve business operations and elevate your funeral home’s reputation. The Johnson Consulting Group’s Performance Tracker™ customer survey and sales analysis tool helps funeral homes track performance metrics with user-friendly features and reports that provide accurate and timely measurements of customer satisfaction. Learn more about how the JCG Performance Tracker can help you grow your business.