Can A Digital Registry Mean More Profit For Your Funeral Home?

March 10, 2013
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Article from: John Parkhurst, A Simple Thank You

Are you ready to embrace technology that will bring your funeral home into the 21st century and help increase your profits? Have you been resistant to change just because you think the public isn’t ready? Will you be willing to watch your competition pass you by just because you didn’t want to try something new? Now is the time to change and take a serious look at the new technology and digital registry systems.

The death rate is flat and will be for a number of years to come. Funeral homes need to market their funeral homes and bring in more business in order to maintain profitability.  Digital registry systems can give you the edge by offering a new service to your families while at the same time generating pre-need leads and building relationships.

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Several companies provide an app or a kiosk to use in your funeral home. Guests “sign in” on a digital system, either an iPad or a PC system . Basically, visitors are actually typing their name, address and email address on a simple key board or touch screen. This will give you a data base of visitors who have already been to a service in your home and are requesting more information. The same information can be used to print custom memorial guest books, print custom thank you cards and address the envelopes!

Guests who register digitally will build a data base for you to reach out and contact them for pre need arrangements. These are visitors who have already been to your funeral home, like the facility and want to do business with you. This is a certain way to help sell and increase your profits.

There are a number of factors to consider and explore before you make the decision on which service will be best for your funeral home.

  • Start up cost. This is an investment for your business.  How long will it take to recoup your cost? Are you buying a custom made kiosk or something that is readily available? Some companies are building custom units that if get damaged or broken may be difficult to replace.
  • Dependability.  Is it a PC based system or apple application? Is the information protected or can it be lost if a crash occurs? Does the device need constant power or is there dependable battery life?
  • Pre-Need generator. Does the program have an “opt in” feature which allows you to reach out to visitors who request more information? Laws regarding direct mail and email solicitation vary state by state and are very strict. This feature will allow you to legally reach out to those who truly want more information regarding your business. This information should flow seamlessly into your CRM as well for your lead generator.
  • Portable. Do you want a large kiosk or a smaller unit that is portable? Do you want to take the registry system to a church, chapel or graveside? You want to use a system that is self contained and can move with the family. Do you need a constant Wi-Fi signal, internet connection or 3G connection? Consider a system that doesn’t require a constant signal for true portability.
  • Ongoing cost. Are there monthly fees or upgrade costs? Some companies charge an ongoing licensing fee, some charge upgrade fees and some charge on a per use basis. If the service is not used, will you still be charged? Choose the service most economical for your business.
  • Printing. Here is a big variation with the registry companies. Do you want to maintain inventory, print the guest book, thank you cards and envelopes or do you want a complete package ready for the family? Some of the registry companies provide you with a digital list of information and you are required to print. Others complete the process and send you a complete package with the printing complete.

Digital registry systems are easy to use and are very consumer friendly. Will there be a learning curve with the elderly? Certainly; however, with a wake attendant or family member helping out, it won’t be an issue. A recent study showed 53% of those over 65 are surfing the internet, the digital registry systems is only using a simple key board. This new and exciting technology will help you and help your families.

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