Receiving criticism from a family after you’ve spent the whole weekend serving them to the best of your ability can be jarring. Maybe they write a letter telling you they didn’t like the style of the furniture or there wasn’t enough attention to detail. Whatever the feedback, sometimes it’s easier to ignore the comments and move forward with your business.
BUT, avoiding customer feedback won’t do you any favors. Just because you avoid or ignore customer feedback doesn’t mean that your business is doing well, just like avoiding the doctor’s office, doesn’t make you healthy. In fact, many times it means that you’re sick and you don’t know it. Ignorance is not your friend when it comes to feedback and here are a few reasons why:
You Assume Too Much
Intuition can only take you so far. Too often business owners make big investments or decisions based on inaccurate data. An owner might mistakenly invest in a new paint job for his funeral home when the floors actually need to be updated. The families you serve are your livelihood and their feedback can tell you what they are willing and not willing to pay for. For instance, an OGR member recently upgraded their Memorial DVD option when they discovered this was something that families not only wanted, but were interested in paying for.
Less Opportunity to Improve your Products and Services
What you do with the feedback you receive is what matters most. If you keep yourself aware of your customers’ wants and needs, then you’ll always know what works for them and what does not. This can be extremely helpful when improving the products and services you offer. For instance, if a family complains that there aren’t enough prayer card designs to choose from, then you know that you need to explore more options. With this knowledge, you are able to make the right changes and increase customer satisfaction, which will in turn increase your profitability levels.
You are Gambling with your Customer Loyalty
A study by the Harvard Business Review, states that customers are more likely to become disloyal based off of one bad experience even if they have had several positive experiences with your business. One bad experience out of ten or even one hundred will make customers think twice about their loyalty and make them more open to alternative options. As a funeral home owner or staff member, you need to take precautions to ensure that the same bad experience is not repeated with a different customer. Participating in a feedback program gives you the opportunity to hear what families really think about your services and make changes as problems arise. Listen the first time to avoid losing another customer.
Testimonials are the Best Advertising So Don’t Miss Out
Business review sites like Yelp and product reviews on websites like Amazon are affecting how people shop for new business. According to a consumer study by Search Engine Land, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations and 72% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more. Business owners can use positive feedback from customers to promote themselves online and to garner the trust and attention of potential customers. Scared about receiving negative reviews? Even these can be turned into a positive opportunity for your funeral home.
Feedback is not as scary as it sounds. It’s actually a valuable tool that can be used in a variety of ways to improve your business and profitability, so open your eyes and ears and listen to what customers have to say. Whether your funeral home utilizes a third-party feedback program or has one of its own, be sure you’re using the information families provide to improve the way you do business. If you don’t have any mechanism for receiving feedback, consider enrolling in one today.
If you want to start gathering and utilizing customer feedback for your funeral home, take advantage of OGR’s free member benefit called the Family Contact Program. The Family Contact Program surveys families on services received from participants. Learn how the Family Contact Program will make your funeral home the best it can be. Click here.