5 Steps To Finding Your Funeral Home’s Competitive Advantage
Funeral homes face a number of distinct challenges. They can tend to operate on a hyper-local level, with families from specific neighbourhoods choosing the funeral home that caters to that neighbourhood. A lot of business comes from repeat clients – families who have trusted the funeral home for years. This can make it difficult for funeral home owners to expand their business – to do so, they need to find their competitive advantage.
Of course, we mean your competitive advantage outside of the localized/client-base advantage that almost every funeral home already has. We’re talking about the ways you can find customers outside of your usual base – and you can use your current clients to help.
Use Customer Data
The first step to figuring out your competitive advantage is to look at the data about your customers. You’ve probably taken down a lot of this information – their religious denomination, age, postal/zip code, and other relevant/demographic information.
Take a good look at these clients. Which families have been using your services for a long time? How much do they spend per funeral? Which of your clients are pre-planning? Use this information in order to develop customer personas.
Customer personas (also known as buyer personas) can help you determine:
- Which customers you want to attract
- What your best current customers like about your business
- The challenges and pain points that your customers face
Use this information in order to determine what your best clients like about your business, and how you help them get over pain points. You can further extrapolate on that data to determine how you could further attract clients similar to your best clients.
Engage with Clients Online
To get even more data about your clients, and to engage with them more actively, it’s a good idea to post regularly on social media. You should also have a portion of your website dedicated to comments, feedback, and reviews (review management software can help a lot with this).
You can also use these posts to float potential changes, polling clients on whether or not they’re interested in particular trends. Your website’s design is also integral to the kinds of clients you’re going to attract, and should reflect your aesthetic, and the values and desires of your preferred customer personas.
Look at What Your Competitors are Doing
You probably already know who your biggest competition is in your area. Take a look at what they’re doing. From there, you might:
- Do what they’re doing, but better
- Find out what they aren’t doing, and do that
For example, let’s say your biggest competition is someone who focuses on basic cremation services. You might try to offer lower cost cremation services, or you might tout yourself as being a more full service funeral home.
Now, we’re obviously not advocating you change how your whole funeral home works based on competitor analysis – rather, this is a way you can help determine what your funeral home’s real strengths are.
Keep Your Calling in Mind
While competitor analysis and customer data can give you incredible insights into the how and what of your competitive advantage, they can’t tell you the why. You know why you got into the business. It’s probably a part of your mission statement.
Your calling should be at the core of every business decision you make, even accounting for the data we discussed earlier. Trying to attract new customers to your business while doing something you don’t feel is right isn’t going to work. Did you start your business as a transparent, low-cost alternative to traditional funeral homes? Don’t start adding frills because your competitors are doing it.
Stay Up-to-Date on Trends
Funeral homes have undergone drastic changes in the last couple of decades, largely due to the advent of the Internet. From eco-friendly burials to virtual ceremonies, there are a number of services that funeral homes can offer now that they could not before.
Your funeral home might be particularly well-positioned to take advantage of some of these trends. Of course, the degree to which you can take advantage of these trends will depend heavily on what your customers actually want – fortunately, you’ve taken the time to talk to your customers and create personas, so you’ll know which trends to follow.
Following this advice can help you hone in on what you want, and on what your customers want. Funeral home SEO services can also be a tremendous boon when you know who you are and who you want to target. SEO is all about bringing a non-stop stream of qualified leads to your business – people who are actively searching for the services you offer will find you. This is a huge boon for hyper-local services like funeral homes. It can also help you find niche clients looking for services that only you offer.