cremation

Funeral Pricing Transparency: A Few Thoughts

This article is commentary on a Dead Ringers' Blog Post.

It's funny how the data from Parting.com is used to argue both sides of a story. On one side, a person can look at the variance in price and say, "I can't believe there's such a big difference!" On the other, "Look, there's the expected difference."

We didn't create Parting with the intention of forcing any funeral home to operate a certain way. Parting was born out of the necessity of trying to find and understand options quickly and easily. We never cared how outrageous a price might be because in a free market, the informed consumer has all the power.

What about a direct cremation? A direct cremation may be a guideline for the minimum amount of services required, but the final price is only a tiny part of the story. A business should be able to set pricing based on overhead, demand, marketing costs, and all the other expenses it takes to run a business. We don't understand the need to want to add useless rules to the already heavily regulated funeral industry.

It's quite the slippery slope when we have those with no financial obligation in a business trying to set prices for a business owner.

Yes, transparency is great for everyone. Though at what point is it the industry's responsibility to provide that? The answer is now. In creating Parting and Parting Pro, we have seen first hand the shift in consumer's behavior. This "new" consumer now expects businesses to be honest, consumer-focused, and provide immense value. The shift is happening NOW and those firms that relied on a veil of secrecy are losing market share. 

Instead of forcing anyone to do anything, Parting Pro is here to help those innovative funeral owners that want to grow with the trends. We're enabling those that see the future of the industry, and want to stay ahead of the game. Consumers are voting with their dollars, and we're here to make sure our partners are winning the vote.

Know Your Numbers

Here are some numbers you should know by heart:

What percentage of your business is organically generated? How many marketing dollars do you need to spend to generate an additional inquiry? How many phone inquiries does it take to convert a new customer? What’s your average revenue per case?

Knowing the answers to these questions begins to give you the answer to an even more important question. If I put X dollars into my business, how many will I get out?

Once you can accurately predict this, you can scale your business to any heights. Many funeral home owners can give rough estimates or educated guesses, but there’s only one way to have numbers that you can confidently base decisions on. You must diligently track your operations.

Tracking this data is not only imperative, but it’s also pretty easy. You can measure exactly how each marketing stream is performing by training your staff to ask potential customers how they heard of you. Use a shared spreadsheet to track the status of every call. You can even begin to track who took the call, what script they used and continuously improve conversion based on this data. Once you have solid data on call sources and customer conversion, you can back these numbers into your marketing spend.

It’s important that your team understands why your operations need to be tracked because they will most likely be the ones that are doing it. Start off small, but engrain it into your business process. Once it becomes a habit, start expanding the scope. There’s hundreds of different ways to track your operations, but I found the easiest and cheapest (free) way to do it is to use a google sheet to record every call or conversation. You can easily bookmark this to any computer or phone and anyone on your team can update this simultaneously.

Here’s an example to start you off.

Whether your plan is to grow by 10% or 1000% this year, it all begins with tracking.