Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard once wrote, “Life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived forwards.” That’s a poetic way of saying that we can learn from the past, especially as the world continues to rapidly change. OGR’s weekly e-newsletter, Independent Insider, reported on events, issues, and trends of interest to funeral professionals. Here are the five most popular articles of 2017. Read the rest of this entry »
“There was a breakdown in communication with the funeral home. I phoned two times and received no answer.” ~ This comment was taken directly from a survey received through OGR’s consumer feedback program, The Family Contact Program. Family Contact Participants often receive comments that help them improve their business offerings and practices. Through the blog series “Exploring Solutions with Family Contact,” members get better insight into services that might benefit their funeral home.
No one likes getting a busy signal or an unanswered phone call when trying to reach a company, but in funeral service, one unanswered call can change how a family feels about the entire experience with your funeral home. Thankfully, today’s technology makes it possible for your telephone to always be answered even if you’re not available.
Many funeral homes enlist the help of answering services to help them keep up with the needs of their clients. During this significant time in a family’s life, they need to know that the people they have hired to help them say goodbye to their loved ones will be there for them when needed. Many questions and tasks arise when planning a funeral, and an answering service makes it possible for your funeral home to always be accessible to client families. In this week’s post, OGR explores funeral home answering services and what this service means to your funeral home’s operations and the families you serve. Read the rest of this entry »
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 »
by Randy Gagnon, OGR Member Brunswick Memorial Home
As of 2015, Millennials have surpassed Generation X as the largest workforce in today’s economy (Pew Research Center, 2015). Millennials will be assuming more and more positions in your firm and with the vendors you encounter daily; therefore, knowing how to successfully manage them is critical to the future of any business. Do you know how to manage this generation to maximize their productivity?
While there are no exact years as to when this generation begins and ends, researchers typically believe them to be born in the early 1980s to early 2000s (Wikipedia). This much is true: Millennials are the product of a different time, with different values, different motivations, and different desires than many of those who manage them. Millennials grew up in an electronics-filled, Internet-driven, and socially-networked environment.
Interestingly enough, Millennials have received the most marketing attention of any generation (Forbes, 2017). They have been taught to ‘follow their dreams’. They were raised in structured environments but have had substantial contact with vast and diverse groups of people via the Internet.
Like many generations of workers, performance lies in management. Here are some best practices for maximizing the potential of your millennial employees from the perspective of a Millennial: 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 »