Marketing 101 tells you, in order to compete, you must define who you are and what separates you from your competition. Some services or industries have a difficult time doing this. What makes one CPA firm different from another or a lawn mowing service better than someone else? However, funeral homes are different and unique. They just need to define, communicate and exhibit that difference in their community.
When defining who you are and what differentiates you, consider the variables. The obvious one is price - but others include location and convenience, ease-of-use, quality, features, ownership and service.
Just a reminder, Marketing 101 also states that there can only be one Low Price leader and winner – think Wal-Mart. Lower pricing is an easy approach – just undercut everyone else. However, this means you must focus on lower overhead, salaries, quality and possibly services. Finally, unless you can create more volume, you must consider the possibility of lower profit margin. And while you will attract and embrace price shoppers, you will not draw those who want uniqueness, personalization or extra attention. The old saying, ’you get what you pay for’ comes to mind.
Now, what do the rest of the variables of differentiation have in common? Funeral service. Don’t confuse this with a funeral service or a memorial service. I am equating funeral service to customer service. That’s the common thread. Each begin with the commitment to respond to customer needs in a positive fashion whether in a mass marketing or a personal connection between a family and funeral director.
Excellent customer service is an emotional value in providing comfort, peace of mind and personalization. But how do you do this? By raising the standards in every thing you do - everything. But you don’t need to spend or charge lavish amounts of money. Simply, aspire to provide compassion through excellence in all that ties your name, image or reputation to it. From landscaping and signage, the attire of your staff, your literature and videos, the ambiance of your funeral home…
These aspects are what your families see every day, so look through their eyes to see where you can improve. And remember, no item is too small. Let the sum of each detail make an impression that will be noticed in your community and more importantly, by your families who will respect and gravitate towards you.
“Excellence is in the details. Give attention to the details and excellence will come.” Perry Paxton
Make it easy for your families – aspire towards funeral service. Clearly define, communicate and own it. It will make a difference.