3 Tips for Retaining Customers at Your Funeral Home

January 15, 2020

Customer Retention for Funeral Homes

The Often Overlooked Key to Sustaining Your Business

“Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.” - Steve Jobs


One of the main components of any retail business is finding ways to increase customer retention. Think about the brands that you are truly loyal to. What makes them so different? Is it the quality of the items that you purchase from them? Is it convenience? Is it the staff? The truth is that it’s probably some combination of all three. People are insanely loyal to Chick-fil-A restaurants because they love the food, but they are also known for having kind and courteous employees and having clean and inviting restaurants. People come back for the experience and not just the food.

When it comes to the mortuary industry, it’s sometimes awkward to think about repeat business. But the truth is that most families go to the same funeral home generation after generation. When the patriarch and matriarch of the family are gone, there is a good chance that other family members will make decisions about their future arrangements based on the experience they had with the arrangements for the heads of the family. But for the first time, thanks to the internet, consumers are more educated than ever. The world seems smaller. Today’s Gen Xers and millennials aren’t satisfied with just doing things because they’ve always been done that way. Now more than ever before, customer retention is an absolute priority for funeral homes.

The good news is that customer retention is easy. It’s about good habits. It’s about the golden rule. It’s about doing what you always do and just enhancing it. Here are some tips to help you retain customers for generations to come:


Tip One: Nurture Your Existing Customers

Most people only think about a funeral home when they need one. Makes sense, right? If you aren’t in the industry, you probably don’t think about the mortuary market very often. But thanks to your mailing and emailing lists that you’ve built over time, you have all of the contact information you need to have in order to be a part of people’s lives through the good times as well as the bad. Send out a monthly email with life tips. Give people advice to help plan for the inevitable. Share all of the good things you are doing in the neighborhood. Send out some free movie tickets. Stick around. This way, when it’s time for the family to make that call, you’ll be the funeral home that comes to mind first, and you’ll be able to continue your relationship with the family.


Tip Two: Make It About People

Provide services for grief counseling for the families you serve. Become that additional family member that goes above and beyond to help with arrangements. Offer to pick up something if you hear the family wondering how they’ll get everything done. Provide more than a setting for a story - become a valuable character in the story. Make sure that when you are done with the services and the family is talking to friends about the times that they’ve endured, they are saying, “I couldn’t believe how special it was when the funeral home [blank].” Those are the stories that not only cement that family’s loyalty, but it also turns them into advocates for your funeral home.


Tip Three: Make It Personal

Call when you can. Go through your contact list at least once a year just to say 'hi' and check in. Remember details about the family so they feel like they are talking to a family friend and not just a business owner. Send holiday cards with handwritten notes for the family. Get involved in the community so people get used to seeing you away from your business. Become a face and not a name. When it comes time to choose a funeral home, it is likely that a family is going to go with the place that makes them feel comfortable and protected. To help them through this time, be a funeral director who can handle any situation.


You want to have all of the answers. Sometimes you don’t. You’ve got National Mortuary Shipping to help! We can do it all, from helping you ship bodies internationally to arranging gravesite services. We can even help your funeral home with pre-arranged funeral options. Let NMS help you retain customers by getting things done!

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