Recently we’ve been made privy to reports from NFDA (2015 Member General Price List Survey) and CANA (Cremation Rate Doubles in 15 Years & Correlation Between Cremation/No Religious Affiliation. These reports provide excellent data of where we came from, where we are now, and initiates further need to focus on where we are going to meet the demands of consumers in the future. In fact, Ryan and I discussed these topics at the top of Episode #2 of Funeral Nation which will air Tuesday October 13th.
I have been a proponent of continuous improvement of our funeral service brands from training, technology, services/products provided to the physical environment of where we operate. This focus in my not so humble opinion is how we will both survive and thrive in the years to come as funeral service providers. As I was watching this morning’s news, a medical segment was profiling an online or “virtual doctor visit.”
The online consultation is provided by a licensed physician or nurse practitioner though a webcam for personalized treatment. When necessary, the professionals can submit an e-perception for pick up at a local pharmacy. Online consultation is for the convenience of the patient and according to this particular story; patients are moving this direction in droves. Convenience? Eliminating the hassles of scheduling an appointment during “normal clinic hours,” long waits at the ER or urgent care, and the costs associated with a doctor visit, etc. This new service allows the patient to remain in their comfortable surroundings and receive consultation; any guesses of what’s in the next paragraph?
As I write at this very moment I can see “we’ve always done it that way” (aka WADITW) smirking and thinking “that’s terrible service and unprofessional.” Is it? Similar service is being provided now across the country by savvy funeral directors that are in the quest of continuous improvement. Yep, total online offerings with the consumer never leaving their comfortable surroundings and the cremated remains delivered to their front door. Ole WADITW is smirking once again thinking “well, they can’t get a burial done that way and my families would never go for this.” Yeah, you’re right Sparky. But make sure and read the before mentioned reports above and maybe conduct some consumer research. Remember when we heard “nobody will use a dang card instead of writing a check and I need a travel agent?” Cremation is rising like the Pillsbury Dough Boy’s brother in a 400 degree oven!
As usual, my mission is provide fodder for thought by funeral professionals to consider and discuss. If you don’t like the message or challenge for continuous improvement, then how about this provocative question: matching suits and ties or not? From the Command Post and a thick fog of cigar smoke, Cheers Y’all! #thefuneralcommander #funeralnationtv