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 »
As summer nears, it’s time to ready your business for the months to come and make sure you have everything ready when it’s time to serve a family. Here are some simple reminders that will hopefully be of use to you and your staff and help you prepare for summer. Read the rest of this entry »
This article originally appeared in the 2017 spring issue of OGR’s Independent magazine.
I am always encouraged when I see funeral homes providing their families and communities with high-quality information about grief and loss. I believe that providing grief information is a critical way for funeral homes to distinguish themselves from their competitors. Unfortunately, some funeral professionals only think of grief information as a part of aftercare. Instead, I would encourage you to view providing grief information as a way to market your expertise, build relationships, and engender trust even before a pre-need or at-need situation. I have outlined several ways that grief information can help set you apart as a funeral home that provides exceptional care to bereaved families. 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 »
September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Death from suicide provides a unique set of complications for the affected family, their friends, and the funeral service professionals who serve them. Offering comfort to the bereaved also becomes a bit more difficult. What should a friend or funeral director say? Is there anything to avoid mentioning? If you’ve lost a loved one to suicide, how should you respond?
Here are some tips for coping with the loss of a loved one to suicide and comforting the family of a suicide victim. Read the rest of this entry »