When you eat at a fast food restaurant, “value added” might mean getting a small toy with that kids’ meal. When you order a magazine subscription, value added often means a free gift, like a book or tote bag. But what is value added when it comes to funerals?
Ask 10 funeral directors—from around the nation, in both small and large funeral homes—and you may get 10 different answers. That’s fine, of course. Some things just might work better in a small Midwestern town than a booming East Coast city.
But the bottom line is funeral directors need to get more savvy about what value added means…to them and their business. And—PSST!—here’s a big secret to many, it doesn’t mean just adding items to a family’s cost list.
In an age where today’s Generation Y-ers are (often) eschewing customer service skills, funeral directors and other professionals have a great opportunity to really shine in the realm of customer service.
Decades ago, customer service became a key selling point for many businesses. It likely still is today—but often only in print. Businesses may say they have the best customer service around and that’s what sets them apart from their competitors. But unless they truly practice what they preach, it doesn’t matter.
As funeral directors, you have one chance to make a first impression with a family, and that family will share their experience (positive or negative) with others.
Make your first impression “value added,” even before you make any sales. Offer as much as you can legitimately deliver, and then deliver. Put as much zeal behind your pitch as you did the day you started your career. And then remember that while a business is all about making money, your approach to your clients cannot be.
Take some time in your “down time” this week to think about what value added could—and should—mean to your business.