6 Technology Tools Guaranteed to Make a Funeral Practicioner’s Life Easier
Guest Article from: Joe Joachim, CEO, FuneralOne
Are you sick of spending countless hours documenting things on spreadsheets? Or even worse, not documenting them at all?! Trust me, as a business owner myself, I’ve been there…
I’ve tried countless tools and processes to make my business hum like a well-oiled machine, and I figured I’d save you some time by sharing a few of my favorites.
With the right tools, your funeral home can increase productivity, collaboration and manage processes in a more efficient manner.
These technologies won’t just grow your bottom line because you’ll get more done; they’ll improve your personal life, too. You’ll be able to spend less time on or even eliminate the mundane, unnecessary tasks that bog you down.
Check out the following for a sneak peak into some of my favorite tools and think about how they can help you run your funeral home:
1. Evernote: Save and Organize Your Ideas
If you’re like me, you find inspiration everywhere and save all kinds of things that inspire you – but keeping it organized? Well, that’s always a challenge…
Imagine a world where everything you find useful, interesting or important could be stored in one organized, central location. Sounds far fetched, but thanks to the free web clipping tool, Evernote, its very possible and very easy to do.
Evernote helps you take everything – from your arrangement notes to your favorite web pages – and store into dedicated categories (like “Personalized Service Ideas” or “Competitive Research”) that you can access from any computer or mobile device.
I’m so excited about it, I even received a physical notebook from Evernote as a Christmas gift from the funeralOne team! The notebook is designed to sync with the program, allowing you to combine your online and offline notes into one convenient place (see below).
Evernote has saved me a ton of time digging through file after file of ideas, notes and inspiration, and I recommend it to all of my employees.
2. Basecamp: Manage Your Business in One Place
If there is one thing I’ve learned from running a business – it’s that a streamlined project management process is key. Otherwise, it’s difficult to keep up with what everyone on your team is up to, and to make sure that every element of your arrangement process is completed not only on time, but efficiently.Basecamp can help make managing your funeral home team easy, convenient and transparent. All of your projects, to do lists, inventory, calendars, documents and communication is centralized into one easy-to-use dashboard that shows real-time updates every time someone makes progress on a project with a client family.
If several people are working with a client family for a service, you can task out everything that needs to be done, review it, analyze its progress and discuss everything needed for it- all in one place.
3. Google Drive: Say Goodbye to Searching for Employees’ Documents
Having several versions of the same document is enough to drive anyone crazy, let alone trying to track the most recent version down! Because of my frustration, I made using Google Drive mandatory for most of our projects here at funeralOne.
We started using Google Drive as a team in October of 2012 and I haven’t opened up Microsoft Word since. If you want all of the functions of Microsoft Word without ever having to worry about constantly saving your changes and emailing different versions back and forth, Google Drive is perfect for you.
Best of all, all of the vital documents to your funeral home can be kept on a secure cloud where they can be accessed and edited by all of your funeral home’s employees, from any computer or mobile device.
On Google Drive, you can upload all spreadsheets, drawings, and word documents so that they’re live documents that everyone on your team can work on.
4. iPad/Tablet: Transform Your Arrangement Process
If there is one tool that you should invest in RIGHT NOW, it’s a tablet, whether it be an iPad or virtually any other brand out there. Tablets are a great way for you to streamline the arrangement process. First, tablets help you quickly enter the vital statistics you need from the family you’re serving. Then, you can present your funeral home’s options in a layered fashion tailored to their wants and needs.
Once you meet with the family, you can send them home with a tablet so they can independently explore their ceremony options without you or other family member breathing down their neck. During the funeral ceremony, funeral directors could use them to provide personalized presentations of the life lived, avoiding the run-of-the-mill generic eulogies that are all too common today.
5. Flat Screen TV: Show Off Your Services
You may have noticed in the last 5 years or so that most offices or retail stores you visit have a flat screen TV on display. On the TV’s, many companies display dashboards, messages to consumers, product spotlights, specials, prices, etc. Flat screen TV’s can also be an important part of your funeral home’s marketing.
Every tribute video, funeral webcast, personalized service or video testimonial you play on your flat screen gives you another opportunity to market your funeral home to funeral guests and families in need. You’ll be surprised by how many more conversations you’ll strike and upselling opportunities you’ll create by showcasing your service options and testimonials on a flat screen in your funeral home.
6. Jing: Sharing Screenshots Made Easy
Whether you’re an embalmer, secretary or funeral home owner, Jing is the perfect tool to help you capture screenshots of documents, pictures and web pages that you want to share with others. For example, if you would like someone on your funeral home staff to change one line of text on your funeral home’s website, you can simply take a screenshot of it, add notes, and send it their way via html link or image.
I find Jing to be extremely helpful when communicating with others on my team. For example, we used Jing for every photo in this blog… pretty snazzy, isn’t it?
So there you have it – an inside look into my favorite productivity tools. You have a fresh clean slate to make 2013 your best year yet, so why not add one of these tools to help your funeral home work smarter and faster?
Just always remember to make sure any new tools you implement work well with your current processes and workflows. Also, be sure your employees are trained to use the tool, and that they understand its value and functionality.
What technologies or tools does your funeral home use to be more productive? Share them in the comments below!
Joe Joachim is the CEO and Founder of funeralOne, the first global solutions firm leading a movement of change for the funeral profession. For the past 10 years, he’s developed game-changing solutions that help funeral professionals increase the value of their service offerings, connect with the families of today, and become more profitable. funeralOne’s solutions include: website design, aftercare, funeraleCommerce, and personalization software.