Funeral Industry News

5 Ways to Build Your Business

Part 5: Use Customer Feedback to Strategize Success

January 16, 2018

Ryan Thogmartin is the CEO of DISRUPT Media | Follower of Christ | Husband | Father | Entrepreneur | Host of #DISRUPTu! and #FUNERALnationtv | Lover of Skittles DISRUPT Media is a social media content agency that focuses on storytelling for funeral companies. We use real stories to build creative strategies that achieve actual business goals.


5 Ways to Build Your Business

Ask a business in this industry what differentiates them from their competitor and the answer is usually “service.” But to truly compete on customer experience, you need to consistently deliver a better experience. And to do that, you need to understand the quality of the experience you’re delivering today. The only way to really get an accurate idea of how you’re doing is to listen to your customer. This is often referred to as a Voice-of-the-Customer (VoC) program.

A VoC program is a systematic way to listen to your customers, use the information they provide to take action, and monitor your performance over time. A customer’s experience lives entirely in their mind. A great experience means you exceeded their expectations. But if you don’t understand how interactions with your business are being perceived by your customers, it’s almost impossible to regularly meet—much less exceed—their expectations. 

Some businesses in our industry don’t even collect data or talk to customers. Many others may survey customers and collect data, but never follow up by taking action on that data. Whatever the case, key data that will help inform future business decisions—such as whether to have a celebrant on staff, build a crematory, build an event center, or renovate the building—is being ignored.

In the earlier parts of this series, we addressed four other ways you can advance your business—storytelling, brand advocates, therapy pets, and family experiences. This final piece, customer feedback, will inform you whether you are telling the right story, if you have potential brand advocates you can leverage, if your website is portraying accurate information and converting searchers to customers, if you should consider a therapy dog, and if you are providing transformational experiences at every family interaction.

Not sure how to begin? Come to CANA’s 2018 Cremation Symposium where George Owens of SCI will talk about VoC. He’ll show you how to combine feedback from families, the experiences of professionals, and data from 13 years of partnership between SCI and J.D. Power to develop a comprehensive strategy—the best strategy for success.

George Owens is the Managing Director of Marketing and Customer Engagement for SCI. Since joining the company in 2007, he has been responsible for enhancing the company’s marketing and brand identity through a culture of service excellence; designing and implementing programs that help highlight customer satisfaction and opportunities to maximize customer engagement, support new product development and customer segmentation. Prior to joining SCI, George was director of Emerging Industries at J.D. Power. While at Power, he was responsible for managing major syndicated and proprietary research programs during a 12-year career. Additionally, he led the design and execution of customer satisfaction and loyalty programs for a variety of clients (including SCI). George received a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Northridge and an MBA from Pepperdine University.