Sunday, January 20, 2008

The WOW Factor

I haven't wrote a lot about my job lately. When we are busy at work I don't have time & I always worry about compromising confidentiality. One thing I have been working on is increasing the "Wow" factor. That is, totally wowing client families. I have been doing some special training and trying to change the way I make arrangements with families. The idea is to sit down right at the beginning of the arrangements and ask open-ended questions to learn about the deceased and then make suggestions about service and merchandise. That, is a very basic idea of it I would probably be violating copyrights if I told more.

The system does work. At times it does require more work. For one particular service I helped the family edit home movies to play as a part of the service. they basically wanted things to be setup to be as opposite a "real funeral" as possible. At the end of the service, folks were just amazed at how wonderful it was. We also made custom memorial folders using photos. The family asked if they could set up the room for the service the day before with pics and mementos and we let them. It wasn't how we normally set up flowers and photos, but you know what? It didn't matter. No one noticed but us.

Now, every funeral director has had a funeral where either they screwed up or for whatever reason the family wasn't happy. If they say otherwise they are lying. I can honestly say the overwhelming majority of my families are happy. With this particular family, however I received a thank-you card in the mail. I haven't gotten one from a family in years. Its not that I have been providing sub-standard service, but its the same service I have been providing for 10 years.

I haven't worked for a larger operation in years, but as a one-man show, there are a few things that have to be adjusted with this new way of doing things:
l. When we are busy, I have to delegate more, providing more service almost always means more work. I either have to have a non-licensed person assist me more with the family, or I need more support behind the scenes.
2 I need to schedule more time off. I know that sounds strange, but when you give 110% you have to take a break or the next family wont get 110%. When we aredone with funerals, I need to (again the word I hate), delegate, and go home to recharge the batteries. Which brings me to Number 3.
3. What do I do when I am off? the guy filling in for me wont have the training I do, he may be a competitor. If its a retired director, training would be impossible. I have a hard enough time to adapt and I have been licensed for only ten years.

So theres what I have been up to the last month or so at work. I am also working on some new marketing strategies, but that's for another post.

No comments: