by Mark Allen, CEO/Executive Director, OGR
Phone shoppers get a bad rap. But let’s face it—they’re simply trying to educate themselves about something they most likely know little about. Pricing is something everyone is familiar with, so it makes sense that most people will start in that area. Your job as a funeral professional is to get them curious about how different funerals can be from what they’ve experienced in the past. Granted, some phone shoppers will shut you down. That’s okay. Let them go. The worst they can say about your funeral home is that you tried to offer suggestions for an amazing and meaningful memorial experience.
Aside from face-to-face contact, telephone and email are the most likely means of communicating with prospective customers. Back in the days when I designed and conducted market research studies for OGR members, one of the most common complaints I heard was that funeral professionals are wonderful in person but are not always perceived as caring or helpful by telephone. The following are tips I’ve found that can help improve your chances of creating a bond with potential customers who call your funeral home. Most will also apply to email messages. Read the rest of this entry »
Last week, OGR explored 10 etiquette tips for improving electronic communication with families, vendors, and colleagues. Here are 10 more.
Is etiquette too old-fashioned for digital communication? In an era where many social media, email and text users seem to put little thought into choosing their words, communication etiquette can set you apart with relatively little effort. In a business setting, that difference can take you a long way when building trust with current and potential customers. I’m often reminded of something I learned in college. Read the rest of this entry »
Customer feedback is a significant part of all business operations. In order to serve people well, you have to know what is important to them.
Each year, OGR’s Exemplary Service Award is given to the top three nominees chosen by OGR members and is based on family feedback OGR receives through the Family Contact Program. This year’s winners had a lot to say about why family feedback is an important part of their funeral home. Read the rest of this entry »
For nearly 90 years, the Order of the Golden Rule (OGR) has embarked on a mission to seek out and identify outstanding funeral homes around the world. Our members are independent, locally owned and operated firms dedicated to providing exceptional service to their client families. We call them Golden Rule Funeral Homes.
Not just any firm can join OGR. Those seeking membership go through a carefully developed screening process to assure both OGR and the public that member firms are of the highest quality.
To be a part of this prestigious group means a firm has distinguished itself in the following ways: Read the rest of this entry »
Have you ever thought that being in the funeral business would be a lot easier if it weren’t for the people?
But, the reality is that if you are in the funeral business, you are in the people business.
The skills we use to manage ourselves and to respond to other people and situations play a big role in the success of our businesses. With client families, the skill set can include empathy, language free of industry jargon, and active listening. These skills aid in effective two-way communication so both parties have the same understanding and, especially, the same expectations. Having strong people skills builds trust between you and the families you serve.
By following a few simple steps to develop stronger people skills, you can ensure your messages are understood by those you serve, you will give better customer service and you will inevitably get repeat and referral calls. Read the rest of this entry »