Turning Digital Buzzwords into Action for Your Funeral Home

11/28/2022
Turning Digital Buzzwords into Action for Your Funeral Home 
Digital transformation. Content. Omni-channel. Have you heard these terms and wondered what exactly they mean or how they may apply to your business?

Today’s changing business landscape provides an opportunity for funeral homes to expand their offerings in order  to meet and exceed the needs of families. Sorting through the choices available may lead you to some of these buzzwords. To help you navigate, we have defined some commonly used language. Additionally you will find an example of each in the context of the deathcare industry.

Digital Transformation. Integrating digital technologies into existing business processes, systems or customer experiences or creating new processes, systems or customer experiences using digital technology to deliver value. Digital transformation tends to require a cultural shift within an organization to experiment with new offerings and adjust to meet market requirements.
Example: Integration of email to contact families. Historically phone and mail were primary methods of communication. Today, using technology like Sympathy Brands, Aftercare is sent and tracked via email.

Digitization. This often gets confused with Digital Transformation but is independent. The act of taking analog information (like paper files) and making them digital.
Example: Case management tools where a decedent’s information is stored digitally rather than in a file cabinet so you can easily access the information anywhere, anytime.

Omni-Channel. An integrated experience allowing families to have seamless interactions across all channels (places) they encounter you. For a funeral home, this may be at your funeral home both helping their family and attending another family’s service, on your website, at a community event you may be sponsoring, etc. 
Example: When a family makes an arrangement appointment over the phone and you intake basic information, your team would be able to then email them a calendar invite for the arrangement appointment. As they enter the funeral home or virtual meeting, the funeral director and team is able to greet them by name and be familiar with key information of the decedent and the relationship meeting attendees have with the decedent creating a more personalized experience from the start of the meeting. 

Micro Moment. A clear understanding of what any given person needs in a specific moment. Have you ever noticed how Google gives you options to finish your search phrase for you? This is based on your search history and Google helping you solve your challenges in that micro moment. 
Example: Consider using “Contact-Us” more strategically. Phone numbers and email extensions are simple means to help identify caller needs upfront. Maintain your primary phone number and email to enable families to reach you immediately however perhaps direct families to a different inbox or extension if they are in need of copies of death certificates or memorial planning. These alternate inboxes not only enable you to manage your funeral homes' most pressing issues (at-need families) first, they allow you to thoroughly prepare prior to answering a families question or perhaps provide automated responses for more frequently asked questions, including “how do I attain more copies of a death certificate.”

Ecosystem. A connected system that creates value through its interconnectivity. In technology, the most well-known ecosystems are Apple’s App Store, some applications Apple runs and others are seamlessly integrated, and Amazon’s eCommerce platform.
Example: Sympathy Brands digital care ecosystem houses key case information and provides features including automated aftercare, streaming services, virtual arrangement meetings and more. Sympathy Brands ecosystem connects to programs like Batesville to enable website management and publish obituary information and Messenger’s Make It! Personal transferring case information for stationary and keepsakes removing data duplication. Do the work once.

Although each of these terms may be buzzwords, the meaning behind them contains value. Each offers opportunities to adjust to the changing business environment and provide increasingly enhanced services for families. 

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