How to Leverage the One Statistic Everyone is Ignoring and It’s a Game Changer
As a profession, we are completely undervaluing the need to get attention and immediately provide value back to that consumer.
It sounds like a pretty easy concept but in all actuality providing value isn’t always the easiest thing to do when you are dealing with death. However, funeral homes have a huge advantage over an everyday run of the mill business. Being transparent with price is one of the simplest ways for funeral homes to provide value.
The reason providing immediate value is so important is, according to a resent NFDA consumer survey, 74% of consumers said they only shopped 1 funeral home when making funeral arrangements.
This means that it is even more important that funeral homes are engaging with as many community members as possible. If consumers are only going to one funeral home to search then the relationships funeral homes can build prior to the time of need are that much more important. That relationship can solidify that the consumer won’t have to go any further than that funeral home.
This puts, even more, emphasis on social media as a relationship tool. The ability for the consumer to engage with a funeral home, so they don’t have to go out and search because they are engaging right on social media is very powerful. It’s absolutely worth the time for funeral homes to use social media because if only 18.9% of the population is going to go look at more funeral homes, then that means over 80% are just going to stop with that one engagement. It puts a whole lot more emphasis on the funeral home’s ability to forge relationships in the community through social media and not leaving it up to chance.
I answered a few follow up questions to the statement above that helps paint a better picture of why this new data is so important and how funeral homes can map their marketing to leverage it.
What can funeral homes do to properly advertise their services to attract consumers to their website?
[Ryan] “Transparency is more important than advertising their services. This is a relationship business: knowing the funeral professional, knowing the staff, knowing the services they offer, knowing what they do differently than everyone else. Transparency is the ultimate differentiator. If you are willing to be transparent on how much your services cost and how you can justify that price, I think that the transparency is what is going to attract and win over the consumer more than any other tactic.”
[CD] How do funeral homes move forward knowing this statistic? What should they change? What should they continue to do?
[Ryan] “This puts far more emphasis on their ability in being engaged in their community outside of service groups that they are engaged in. How are they having conversations in their community? This makes events at the funeral home more powerful. This makes the opportunity to engage with people at calling hours not from a sales perspective, but from a building relationships perspective more beneficial. This makes social media more valuable. They can have these touches through content that is relationship building without physically having to shake a hand – that is just as valuable. Moving forward they should change the way that they story tell and they should change their level of transparency to be wide open.”
[CD] Does this mean establishing close relationships within your community is more important than advertising, or do those two things go hand-in-hand?
[Ryan] “They absolutely go hand-in-hand, but relationships will always be more valuable than advertising. Advertising is pushing something on somebody, wherein social media, consumers are voluntarily going to get the information which is far more relationship based and that provides the transparency.”
[CD] What is the takeaway from all of this?
[Ryan] “Funeral homes need to change the way they approach the relationships they build with the community. So, if you look at how a funeral home engages with their community, it is primarily through some sort of funeral service. Rarely are consumers in a community directly engaging with funeral home directors and staff outside of a funeral service or a memorial service. Being prominent in the community through social media is the easiest, most underpriced way for a funeral home to build relationships with their community. Events at the funeral home that are not centered around an at-need service, such as events centered around flag day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, are great ways for consumers and community members to engage with the funeral home through something positive, rather than a death experience. Social media is absolutely the most underpriced way for a funeral home to build relationships and provide value. Funeral homes to a very bad job of showing what value a funeral provides and what a funeral director provides, so you have to be able to create storylines and content that show the value that a funeral director holds in creating funeral services. When we perceive something of value, price becomes secondary; so the big hurdle is getting the attention of a consumer and keeping the price hidden because we don’t want them to know how expensive it is. We need to do a much better job of showing the value in what we do versus a price.”
Social media is absolutely the most underpriced way for a funeral home to build relationships and provide value. Funeral homes do a very bad job of showing what value a funeral provides and what a funeral director provides, so you have to be able to create storylines and content that show the value that a funeral director holds in creating funeral services. When we perceive something of value, price becomes secondary; so the big hurdle is getting the attention of a consumer and showing enough value to be able to justify the price. We need to do a much better job of showing the value in what we do versus trying to cut price.”
Correction: This article originally said 82% of consumers shop one funeral home (that was for 2016). The correct data for 2017 is 74% of consumers only shop one funeral home.