And, as a funeral director, you will be there to make the process as comfortable and compassionate as possible. Economists have stated time and time again that the death care industry is nearly recession-proof. However, because the world is changing due to the pandemic and economic impacts, people are now reacting differently with their finances and spending less on even the basic necessities. Sadly, that means that many families might choose to do things differently when compared to the same choices just nine months ago. This spending shift has disrupted all businesses, even funeral home businesses, so if you don’t learn ways to market during a pandemic and a recession, you could get left behind.
The Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic has presented an unprecedented set of challenges for bereaved families who are having to arrange funeral services for loved ones, as well as many mourners who wish to pay their final respects. A few months ago we talked about the changes and gave advice and helpful information for funeral directors in this time of Covid-19.
The first question you might have is “how can I continue to connect with customers during this ongoing pandemic crisis?” With social distancing, self-isolating and reluctance to meet in person, simply reaching the customer has become a challenge.
Here are some tips to connecting and marketing during a pandemic:
- Reassure your customers about how your funeral business is responding to the pandemic. You already know how to deliver information in a calm and reassuring way, so this should come easy to funeral directors.
- Boost your online branding and promotions in order to stay connected. Fewer people will be out and about seeing billboards, print ads and other forms of traditional marketing. It’s important to connect via social media and digital advertising.
- Update your website as often as you can. Now more than ever, people will be scouring websites before connecting in person.
- Revisit your current content marketing and keyword strategy. Leverage keyword research and social listening tools for topics that provide insight into specific information they are seeking. Targeted keywords yesterday may not be as relevant today.
- Focus on strengthening relationships with the families you have worked with for years. Communicate regularly through email and direct mail. Customers want a relationship with whom they do business. Focus on strengthening your relationship with your customers but for reasons that are genuine and thoughtful, ask how they are doing, exchange life stories, talk about the changing environment.
- Now more than ever, you must ensure you are using empathy marketing communications – again, as a funeral director, you are already very good at using empathy. Without empathy, communication is seen as “taking advantage of the situation,” and no one wants that label.
- Avoid hard sells. Don’t push for upgrades and future family life planning. Now is the time to keep it as simple and easy as possible. This could go a long way in building a relationship and ensuring return.
To recap, some of the most affordable advertising methods for a recession include:
- Create organic social media posts – this is also a great way to connect with your followers who may not need your services now. Remember to post more than just obituaries. Post pre-planning information, funeral etiquette, grief resources and legal advice.
- Send emails to your client list with helpful information – grief is an especially good topic right now, provide local resources.
- Go live on Facebook and Instagram – even if you are videoing a beautiful flower arrangement or your facilities.
- Write helpful blog posts.
- Donate to a local non-profit – this helps keep your brand visible to the public.
Since our inception, Osiris Software has been helping funeral homes, cemetery and crematory businesses prosper through innovative solutions and world class customer service.