Adapt Or Die: The New Client Family Journey

New Client Family Journey

“It’s not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” – Clarence Darrow

Thanks to the Internet, there has been a fundamental shift in the way today’s families research and make funeral service decisions.

This might not come as a surprise to you, but if your funeral firm’s marketing hasn’t changed in response, it should. If you don’t evolve to meet families’ needs, your funeral firm risks getting left behind.

Let’s take a closer look at what’s changing and how your firm can adapt.

The Old Client Family Journey: “The Good Old Days”

The traditional families of yesterday viewed funeral service as a respected, necessary ritual. These families already knew they would hold a funeral service for their loved one– they simply had to decide where. Their path to selecting a funeral service provider or the “old client family journey” was linear, predictable, and controlled.

New Client Family Journey

The traditional families of the past put you on their short-list of options because they were familiar with your funeral home. They might have had a previous experience with your firm when you buried their grandfather, attended the same church as one of your employees or even noticed your ad in the local newspaper. If your funeral firm was located in their area, they would visit to plan their loved one’s funeral service.

These traditional behaviors associated with the old client family journey made attracting families simple. You could always count on loyal families, community outreach, and simple local advertisements to bring families in the door.

But, things have changed – the families of today are different.

The New Client Family Journey: Things are Changing

The families of the present and future aren’t as brand loyal and don’t depend on traditions like they used to. They won’t plan a funeral service with you just because their grandmother did. Today’s families are tech-savvy and rely on the Internet to seek information.

Their path to making funeral service decisions or “the new client family journey” has an increasing number of digital touch points, putting control in their hands.

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Families take control of the new client family journey by actively “pulling” information helpful to them. In fact, an astonishing 97% of people now turn to the web to find information on products and services (BIA / Kelsey Group).

Families often compare several competing funeral firms online, educating themselves about the available options so they can make a well-informed decision. They learn about cremation, funeral service options, memorial product offerings, and check into pricing. Families even look to their social network to see what their peers recommend and read online reviews before visiting a funeral firm to plan their services.

Don’t worry – this new client family journey is actually good news. Believe it or not, people who research online before making their decision actually end up spending 20% more than those who don’t. Why? Because they’re more confident they’re getting exactly what they want from funeral home they trust.

Sure, there are still some traditional families out there. But that group is becoming smaller and smaller, while the families of today are increasing by the second.

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So who do you want to focus your efforts on? The shrinking families of the past? Or the growing families of the present and future? I think the choice is pretty simple.

How to Adapt to This Change

While the journey of your families has changed over time, your goal as a funeral professional hasn’t. You still strive to attract families and help them create healing experiences through your services.

And it’s important to realize that the change in your families’ journey to selecting a funeral firm isn’t a loss of power over potential families. It’s simply an opportunity to be in the right place, at the right time, to give families the information they need to choose your firm.

Now that we know change is here to stay, here are some ways you can embrace it:

Don’t waste your time & money with traditional advertising.

Here are a few stats to prove why:

· People spend 52% of their time online and only 4% reading the newspaper.
· 200 million Americans are on the FTC’s “Do Not Call” list.
· Over 44% of direct mail pieces are never opened.
· The average person sees up to 5,000 ads per day!

If traditional advertising still accounts for the majority of your firm’s marketing initiatives, chances are, you’re no longer effectively reaching families.

Get your business online!

Cut through the clutter by focusing your marketing efforts to meet the needs of today’s families by fine-tuning your online presence. The phrase “funeral home” is now searched over 7 million times per month – on Google alone. Your website is now crucial to your success.

But it could hurt your business?

Simply being online doesn’t always mean more families will choose your funeral firm. In fact, 75% of families who visit funeral websites to don’t end up contacting the firm. If your website doesn’t engage prospective families, it could actually drive them away.

 

To learn more about getting your business online with funeralOne’s website platform, f1Connect, click here or call 800-298-2575.

Joe JoachimABOUT THE AUTHOR

Joe Joachim is the CEO and Founder of funeralOne, the first global solutions firm leading a movement of change for the funeral profession. For the past 11 years, he’s developed game-changing solutions that help funeral professionals increase the value of their service offerings, connect with the families of today, and become more profitable. funeralOne’s solutions include: website design, aftercare, funeral eCommerce, and personalization software.

Joe Joachim

funeralOne

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  1. Paul Beran

    Willy Wonka hits a Homerun!

  2. Heather Dvorak

    “In order to be replaceable one must always be different.” – CoCo Chanel

  3. Peggy Lewis

    Yes, the search for funeral options is widening; and gradually, we are seeing a shift in people’s willingness to more realistically think ahead, and even to plan out what they want in a funeral or memorial.
    And many more families want a more personal ceremony than a traditional religious one can offer; or, they do not have a church/synagogue “home”.
    This is where a celebrant comes in! Celebrants spend as much time as needed with family members; offer suggestions of readings and rituals which will help express the meaning of the person’s life; give the family a draft of the ceremony in advance, to make sure it is “right”; and provide a keepsake copy of the entire ceremony after the event.
    Look for a celebrant in your area, and see what added value they can add to your services! Peggy M. Lewis, Life-Cycle Celebrant, serving SE Florida.

  4. Krystal

    Thanks for sharing your comments, Peggy! And great stance on celebrants as well.

  5. Krystal

    Very true!

  6. Krystal

    LOL Thanks Paul!

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  23. Jonas

    I believe you are right, and it is inrmptaot to do your research. PLanning a funeral is a daunting tasks, and can be financially taxing. The internet is a valuable resource today for finding the right options for your funeral needs. You can find anything from funeral planning to caskets at wholesale prices. Be sure when you find them, that you are using someone who has experience in the industry and will help you through every step!