Funeral Industry News

Where do YOU look for the BEST service?

August 20, 2009

Where do YOU look for the BEST service?

“When I am spending my own money ? service, reputation, reliability and, in some cases, ambiance, are more important than the cheapest price. So, why do we assume the public we serve are any different?”

You make reservations for a large group at a restaurant for a family celebration. You have expectations of pleasing everyone in the group. Do you reserve at:

1. The cheapest place you can find?

2. A place you have heard has the best service in town but higher prices?

You are buying a big screen TV. Do you buy it from:

1. A new store offering low prices but no guarantee and a salesperson in runners?

2. A store with a guarantee, higher prices but a feeling that they will still be in business if you need to fulfill the guarantee?

When I am spending my own money ? service, reputation, reliability and, in some cases, ambiance, are more important than the cheapest price. So, why do we assume the public we serve are any different?

Why do we funeral directors tend to be embarrassed about charging for great service? We cringe at the thought and we set our hair on fire with comments like:

? A fat lot he knows about the phone shoppers in my area?? The bottom feeders I serve wouldn?t darken my door

.? My competition is going to slaughter me.

I feel we assume too much about a phone inquiry. Perhaps they are a shut-in who can?t get around and have the same right to get information as the next person. Why do we assume that the so called ?Phone-Shopping Bottom Feeders? don?t want good service? If you lose the call you have no one to blame but yourself. I know we all put on our best phone voice and answer the questions, but what about the momentary silent, but very obvious, pause that occurs AFTER you have quoted your number? Do you allow them to say ? ?OK, Thank you? and hang up or do you keep the conversation alive?

What is wrong with a little commercial ? a little blurb that you type and post by each telephone in your office? When you hear that momentary silence that comes before they leave your life forever, what is wrong with adding:

?Norman (their name), thank you so much for calling. We are very proud of our service to our community for the past 45 (your stats) years. If, you don?t mind, promise yourself that you will call me again if you have any further questions. Oh ? and by the way ? if you encounter anyone offering this same service for a few dollars less, please give me the courtesy of a call letting me know – after all – I want you to go where YOU want to go ? not where the price is cheapest. I want your family to receive the caring service they deserve.

If you are the last call on their list they will usually tell you outright about the casket that is $100.00 less or the service charge that is $200 less but includes no limo ?

Can you deal with that information? Something?s wrong if you can?t.

? but that IS NOT the point. The point is ? you didn?t allow them to hang up without hearing the ?rest of the story?.

I said that I posted my blurbs by the phones and I did exactly that. I even laminated them so I wouldn?t scribble notes on them and carry them away. Why did I insist they be posted by the phones? Because it wasn?t always me who answered the phone and not all the staff could ad lib easily. I have to admit that there were times when I read the thing word for word myself because I too was tired, rushed or preoccupied.

Can I tell you how many times I got the call? Maybe?

Can I tell you how many calls I added to the roster after using the ?blurb? regularly with phone shoppers. You?re damned right! The customer usually told me up front if they had planned to go to a place with a lower price and the reason they changed their mind.

Were the numbers significant? You?re damned right!

Did my competition call me a discounter and bottom feeder? Of Course! ?until they saw the expansion we had to add to accommodate the business growth.

I don?t expect that my idea will work for you, but my point is this. Find that magic way that you can ? after having quoted a hard number ? get all soft and cuddly again. This is especially important for new businesses. Unless you are wearing runners and serving from a greasy menu, don?t be embarrassed by giving a high price. Let the phone customer know that you are going to deliver ten times more service than you will ask to be compensated for.

I wish you all luck on your journey.