Customer loyalty is the cornerstone of any thriving business. Regardless of the industry, it’s intuitive to understand the value of building long-term relationships with your customers. In traditional goods and services industries, an estimated 80% of sales comes from 20% of your customers. In general terms, it’s less costly to keep an existing customer happy than to seek out a new prospective customer. This is the premise used to develop traditional marketing strategies. If you offer a top quality product and pair it with outstanding customer service, clients will naturally want to do business with you again. This also increases the chance of your client providing word of mouth referrals to their friends and family. Digging in a little deeper, traditional marketing plans aim to keep your product top of mind with your customers so they’re more likely to choose your business versus a competitor’s business. Additionally, traditional business models attempt to increase the volume of a customer’s order, the frequency of their purchase, and offer complementary products to earn a larger share of their disposable income. This long-term approach is measured as the customer lifetime value.
This is where the funeral industry differs greatly from a traditional business model. The timing of when customers need your service is completely out of their hands. Your goal isn’t necessarily to stay top of mind, but you must lay the groundwork so customers will call you if and when they need to. This can be frustrating as a business owner because there isn’t a straight line connecting the amount of promotional efforts and the resulting business traffic. Here are a few tactics that will set the stage for building loyal customers and encouraging repeat business.
One way to adapt to the current digital environment is to offer online scheduling. Modern funeral services are typically scheduled a few days after the passing, and the family members often have a short time frame to plan the memorial. This includes coordinating travel plans for out of town relatives, gathering family photos, and ordering flowers and other personalized décor. If families had an easy way to schedule the date and time of the memorial service online, it would allow them to move forward with other tasks prior to meeting with your team. This is especially helpful for people who are planning the funeral services from a distance. Be sure to include photos of your facility, and indicate if there are capacity limitations for any of the individual spaces.
Another way to foster relationships with buyers is to schedule consistent contact with them after the memorial service. It’s important that these messages focus on their well-being, and don’t have a sales message attached to them. As experts in the funeral industry, you’re in a strong position to provide valuable information and resources to your customers. Examples of appropriate communications include resources to deal with grief, local support groups, or lists of tasks associated with closing an estate. It’s also appropriate to send a warm message to your customers aligned with calendar milestones, such as the departed person’s birthday or the anniversary of their passing. These personal contacts let your customers know you care about them even after the sale, and this leads to loyalty and repeat business.
Design aesthetics plays an important role in repeat business. When deciding among a competitive set of funeral service providers, customers will gravitate towards the facilities that are modern, clean and well maintained. They’re selecting both an appropriate place to show respect to their loved ones during the memorial service, and a place that they’ll enjoy visiting in the future. The rates of cremations continue to rise, and customers are seeking out the facilities that offer a full variety of traditional and alternative internment spaces. This includes traditional columbarium spaces, glass front niches and beautifully landscaped cremation gardens. Using the design aesthetics of your location is a strong competitive tool to foster repeat business. Once a customer has selected your facility for their memorial service, it’s more likely for them to do business with you in the future. Global Bronze understands the role design aesthetics plays in your business, and that’s why we offer a full range of memorialization products to support your business. We even offer full service property design and project management services to ensure your facility improvement project is successful. Contact our sales team today to learn how an updated facility would impact your bottom line.The funeral industry faces unique challenges in building customer loyalty and fostering repeat business. The traditional methods of measuring the ROI of marketing efforts simply don’t work in our industry. However, we’re still competing for a share of the market and positioning ourselves among the competitors. It’s important to focus on the tactics that are effective in growing your business and earning customers loyalty. These tactics include offering digital components to memorials, staying in contact with your customers, and maintaining a modern facility. Global Bronze has over 20 years of expertise in the funeral industry, and we understand the challenges your team faces in fostering repeat business and maximizing the customer lifetime value. That’s why we offer the most innovative memorialization products that allow our partners to stay competitive in their local markets and increase their business revenue. Contact Global Bronze today to develop a customized strategy for positioning your business to increase customer loyalty.