Funeral Industry News

The 360 Degree Pass-by

August 21, 2009

The 360 Degree Pass-by

One good thing about being away from your funeral home is that when you return to what?s familiar, you have a fresh perspective. This time away allows you to see it more clearly through the eyes of our clients. If we?ve said it once, we?ve said it a million times there is no reality in business today, only perception ? the customers perception of your funeral home is the only one that counts. You can have a beautiful facility, caring and knowledgeable staff, the best product, and fair prices BUT the second a client walks in your door and finds something amiss, their perception changes; and usually not for the better. We all make an unconscious value judgment about the places we visit within the first 10 seconds of contact. It isn?t fair but it happens. That?s why you have to constantly be on guard about how your funeral home looks through your clients? eyes.

How often do you look at your funeral home through the objective eye of the client? Notice that we said ?objective?. You?re not being objective if you look at a tired display and think, ?Oh, that display needs to be re-done, but I just don?t have time to do it now. I can leave it up another week or two.? No, you can?t. Clients will look at that display and think less of your funeral home.

Ideally, you should do an in-depth tour of your funeral home at least once a month, but to keep things in balance, try our 360 Degree Pass-By each morning before you unlock the doors for business:

Begin in the Outside Your Funeral Home

Survey the Parking Lot: Is the parking lot easily accessible? Are staff members cars parked in the best spaces? Is the parking lot clean and brightly lit?

Size Up the Building Front: Does your building front require paint or repair? Is there clutter to be cleaned up? Have the flowers in your planters seen better days? Can clients and potential clients easily see your exterior front sign? If your sign is lit, are all the bulbs in working order? Are your windows clean?

Access the Decompression Zone: The Decompression Zone is the 5? to 15? just inside the front door of your funeral home. Its purpose is to slow down rushed and distracted customers so they can concentrate on the task at hand. Is your Decompression Zone uncluttered, inviting, and easy to navigate?

Now, walk through each public room of your funeral home, this includes offices and other public rooms. Make sure that each room is properly set to reflect the caring professionalism of your funeral home.

Inside Your Arrangement Room

Work Your Speed Bumps: Do your Speed Bump displays ? small tables or fixtures of hot product placed just beyond the Decompression Zone ? need to be straightened or re-stocked? Work your Speed Bumps ? they sell product.

Power Wall Ahead: Look Right: Your main Power Wall is located just inside your arrangement room and to the right. This is a premium location that is highly visible to clients. Is this area used to tell a product story? Is the product displayed there new or high demand items? Are your Power Wall displays set to sell? Do they need to be straightened, re-stocked or re-merchandised?

Review Your Signing: Does your signing reflect the style of your funeral home? Can clients easily read your signs? Is there old signing that needs to be removed?

Walk the Aisles: Clients need to be able to move freely through your selection room. Is there product blocking the aisles? Can clients easily maneuver a wheel chair, motorized scooter or stroller down the aisles? Can two clients easily pass one another throughout the arrangement room?

Survey Your Merchandise Presentation: Are your displays fresh? Do they encourage clients to stop and look, and entice them to buy? Are there open areas that need attention?