Where Web Site and Foot Traffic Intersect

February 12, 2013
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Article by: Michael Kane, Expression Guest Registry™

These days, a well-designed website—one that is both informative and relevant—is critical for any funeral home. But can we actually go too far?

How much time should a small business regularly devote to creating, maintaining and updating content? And have we reached the tipping point—where we’ve created a site that is overwhelming and confusing to visitors?

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As funeral directors, we all understand the importance of a good image—from the cleanliness of our funeral homes to the professionalism of our staff.  For most of us, our facilities’ foot traffic is greater than our website traffic—and it has far greater potential to be personal and memorable. Here are some things to consider:

  • When is the last time you updated your funeral home’s décor? Even something as simple or inexpensive as fresh paint can enliven a dreary interior.
  • Is the landscape well kept? Is the lawn mowed? The driveway cleared?
  • Is there always somebody at the door offering to hang coats and direct people to the appropriate chapel?

These are examples of things most families expect included in the price of a funeral. Going beyond what people expect is how we can make extraordinary impressions. How do we do this? By implementing new services and purposeful innovation.

  • Offer exemplary valet service outside the building—not just parking cars, but brushing snow off of windshields, shoveling pathways to cars during snowstorms or walking people to their vehicles under an umbrella in the rain. These are valued—and very viable—ways of impressing guests.
  • Offer visible kitchens or gathering centers with catering available, a comfortable children’s area, Starbucks coffee (my favorite), large projector screens to present “larger than life” memorial videos and slideshows and free Wi-Fi.

Of course, all of these “great impressions” items cost money. But by grouping some services like valet and catering with your professional services, families are far more likely to accept them.

Offer different levels of service with every grouping or package, but always include the “guest-oriented” services with each one.

Put the resources where most people will see them. After all, your families are the true hosts of the gatherings, and the experience of their guests in your facilities is really as much of a reflection on them as it is on you.

Now, what about that intersection of foot traffic and website traffic? Develop a system that reaches out to attendees after the services, affirming their presence and the value of the gathering, providing information and offering additional services. Many of these can be linked directly to your website.

This can ensure that families feel more value for the cost of the funeral—and guests will leave with impressions of your funeral home that will last well beyond the next click.

About the Author:

Wisconsin funeral director Michael Kane is director of growth and development for Expression Guest Registry™, located in Green Bay, Wis. For more information, visit www.expressionguestregistry.com.

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