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Nine Tips for Connecting with Funeral Shoppers

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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 »

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Managing My Generation: A Millennial’s Perspective

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Blog Imagesby 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 »

10 Tips to Improve Your Electronic Communication Etiquette

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Blog ImagesIs 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 »

5 Steps for Responding to Negative Reviews

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Picture2Before online review sites and the Internet, how did families share what they thought about your funeral home with others? Maybe they chatted in the parking lot after a funeral service or at the grocery store while shopping or on the phone. If a family was unhappy with their experience, you, as a funeral service professional, might not have known about it until months later. You might not have even been given the opportunity to respond because you never heard about the complaint.

Enter online review sites: a forum for customers to share their positive and negative experiences with a much broader audience. These sites — think Google Business, Facebook, Yelp — now provide businesses like funeral homes with the opportunity to join the conversation.  Anyone searching for a funeral home in your area may find your website, but they will also see your Google business listing and how the public has rated your funeral home (learn more about Google My Business). They may also see an obituary post on Facebook, visit your Facebook page and read there what families think about your funeral home (your business is most likely on Facebook, whether you like it or not – see lie #3 in this post).

While negative reviews can be intimidating, they can actually be positive for you in the long run. If you respond appropriately, a negative review can demonstrate to a grieving family why you’re a place they’d want to take their loved one.

So how do you accomplish this? How should you respond to negative online reviews? Check out these five suggestions for responding in a professional and caring manner.  Read the rest of this entry »

How ‘Google for Jobs’ May Help Funeral Service

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may help funeral serviceWhere do you, as a funeral home owner, go to find good help? With baby boomers approaching retirement age, you’ll soon have job openings available, but you may find it hard to convince potential job candidates to work for you. Funeral service isn’t exactly sexy and without the right knowledge of all the rewards your funeral home can offer them, exposure to hazardous chemicals and long hours, for example, may cause potential employees to overlook the opportunity to make a difference in families’ lives by creating memorable funeral service experiences for those in grief.  Read the rest of this entry »

What to Avoid When Building Media Relationships

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4.5.17 Media Avoid - Weigel (1)Last week, OGR’s Blog explored ways to improve a funeral home’s media coverage. This week, we’re discussing what funeral homes should avoid doing when building relationships with local media.  Read the rest of this entry »