PART 2 OF A 7 PART SERIES - 7 STEPS TO PASS ON A SUCCESSFUL DIGITAL FUNERAL BUSINESS TOMORROW
"We have a website for our funeral business, that is ok, isn't it?"
These days most funeral businesses would not ignore Bill Gates' prophesy. Those that did, or have, beware, the grim reaper of the business world is not far behind you. It still amazes me that some funeral directors do not have a website. The have a belief that people will still come to their business. This misguided belief is based solely on the reputation and longevity of the firm in an area. Prehistoric thinking. Their days are numbered.
Let Your Thumbs Do The Walking
When consumers want to know or buy anything today, the first simple action is to type that question, product or service into a search engine. That search is usually on Google. What happens next is not so simple.
- Will they be able to find your funeral business?
- Will they be able to view your funeral business website on a mobile device?
- Will they be able to complete a transaction or to get more information without leaving the site?
In this post I want to ask the question is your website functioning as a "Home Base" for your funeral business?
A "Home Base" for your funeral business pulls potential customers to your business. It is a client focused, and customer-centric site rather than a shop window of your business? Can a potential customer quickly, simply and enjoyably get the information they need? Can they do that with the smallest number of clicks as possible? A "Home Base" website is an evolving, growing and innovative nerve centre for a funeral business. Its priority is to communicate clearly to a searching audience critical information about that funeral business. Topics such as social proof thought leadership and customer choice.
This post continues in the short series 7 Steps To Pass On A Successful Digital Funeral Business Tomorrow. Many funeral businesses are a second, third or even fourth generation business. Because digital disruption has changed the funeral marketplace considerably, to pass on a thriving business to the next generation needs a "digital" mindset. In the previous post; I explained what the difference between an "analogue" and "digital" mindset when looking at a funeral business. Step one was to allocate resources, step two, review your website and look at it through the eyes of "Home Base."
Are You Making These Classic Mistakes With Your Funeral Business Website?
- When was the last time you had an independent check on the effectiveness of your site?
The technology around websites has changed and keeps changing. At one time having moving images, fancy flash graphics was the sign of a "good" site. Now, clean, functional and responsive websites are what are driven by the consumer. The technology platforms that sites were built on have become much simpler. Not that long ago to create a website was an incredibly skilled task. Now, with online products like Wordpress or Squarespace, the process is easier.
This site is built on Squarespace. It makes the work of building and creating a website not only easier but cheaper and more flexible than ever before. Should you make your funeral business site? That depends on many factors. This subject is too complicated for a simple answer. Reviewing many funeral business websites, I can honestly say that a self-created website could be considerably more effective as a "Home Base" than many of the sites out there. Many are so old and untouched for years they are stuck in a time warp!
Boring, Typical and Purple
Most funeral business websites are like shop windows. Typically, they have a colour pallet that is dark or purple of some shade.
- Here are the pictures of our shiny limousines.
- Here is our happy staff team.
- Here is a picture of a room with a couple of chairs in where we will discuss the loss of the person you have loved so much.
Pages full of text in a script or such small font that is difficult to read. They are not mobile or tablet responsive. In other words, they cannot be read on a mobile device without stretching and enlarging the pages.
A "Home Base" website needs to be built with the customer in mind. It should focus on the experience of getting to the information they require as quick and easy with as little clicks as possible.
A Home Base website has customer experience at its centre. It is about having empathy toward the consumer. It must provide an exceptional experience. Most of all, a "Home Base" view is one that is always striving to find ways to deliver an experience to grieving families better than what they expect.
What Does A "Home Base" Website Need?
If we view our website through the eyes of a customer rather than our business shop window, it changes how it should look and function. Can the images reflect people who are happy using our services, rather than the picture of a shiny car? Do we have social proof in links to online reviews from customers, rather than just our written testimonials? Do we have blogs, and news articles that demonstrate how we are aware and adapting the of changing trends of funerals today? Can people link to our social media profiles easily? Can they find our telephone numbers, email address quickly. Do we offer many ways of communicating, Skype, instant messaging and online forms?
In future posts, I'll expand more on these ideas and critical factors that make a funeral website a "Home Base" site rather than an online shop window.
When was the last time your reviewed your website? Can customers read your site on a mobile device, have you checked? Do you study analytics to know where and amounts of web traffic? Today's digital funeral business needs an evolving, expanding and informative customer-centric website. A website that focuses on customer experience is a "Home Base" site.
In the next post I'll look at how a "Home Base" website allows a funeral business to digitise your client's experience. How this makes communicating with your firm easier and potentially creates a longer term relationship with your clients.
I would love to hear from you about how you are adapting your funeral business to respond to the digital marketplace of today. What is your biggest concern about being a digital funeral business?