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As we begin a new year, we have a well-timed opportunity to look back and consider the things we have been doing well, the things we need to do better and the things we should continue to do to enhance our operational efficiency. Start the new year right by implementing an effective payment policy for your funeral home. Read more...FUNERALS OF THE FAMOUS: BING CROSBY
Harry Lillis “Bing” Crosby was an Academy Award-winning actor and the singer of one of the best selling songs in history, “White Christmas.” Crosby was a man of ideas and interests, some of which changed the course of recorded music. Read more...The Cremation Business Blueprint For Funeral Professionals: PART 5
The Importance of Building Customer Loyalty: In this fifth part of American Funeral Director’s series providing you with the tools to develop a comprehensive cremation business blueprint, we talk with Micah Solomon, an authority on customer service, leadership, company culture and the customer experience. The best-selling author of “High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service,” “Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit,” and the newly released “The Heart of Hospitality,” Solomon is known for his ability to transform business results and build true customer engagement and loyalty. In a wide-ranging interview, he explores the importance of building customer loyalty and goodwill and why it should be a top priority for funeral professionals. Read more...The Cremation Business Blueprint For Funeral Professionals: PART 4
Selling Things Families Might Not Know They Need: In this fourth part of the six-part series providing you with tools to develop a comprehensive cremation blueprint, we speak with Anthony Caliendo, a corporate consultant, leadership coach and author of “The Sales Assassin: Master Your Black Belt in Sales.” Caliendo explores how to introduce customers to products and services they might not know they want or need. Read more...Q&A With Homesteaders Life Company
As Homesteaders Life Co. states on its website, while it was still in its infancy, it faced one of the most profound periods of economic strife, war and social unrest the world had ever seen, with the eruption of World War I, followed by the flu epidemic of 1919. A decade later, the company survived the stock market crash of 1929 and the ensuing Great Depression. Through it all, Homesteaders promoted the value of funeral service and has been a strong advocate for advance funeral planning. We recently reached out to the company to learn its secrets to success, as well as the lessons it’s learned about operating a successful preneed program. Read more...HR Reality Check: Case Study 1
Even the most comprehensive human resources management plan can benefit from a reality check every now and again. When hiring new employees having all the required paperwork and documentation is important but what if a new hire has difficulty providing you with everything required? Read more...HR Reality Check: Case Study 2
Even the most comprehensive human resources management plan can benefit form a reality check now and again. When separate businesses share the same employees, what are the rules for paying overtime? Read more...The Cremation Business Blueprint For Funeral Professionals: PART 3
Providing a Great Experience: The funeral landscape is changing and so must the experience you provide customers. Joseph Pine II, a veteran consultant and author of several books, including “The Experience Economy” and “Mass Customization,” offers advice on how to meet and exceed customer expectations while providing families with the services they’ve always received. Read more...Preneed Roundtable: Part 1
Many in funeral service see preneed sales as a way to grow business, give customers what they want and guarantee success into the future. But, just like all other aspects of the profession, the sale and management of preneed accounts is subject to changing economic conditions and customer expectations and desires. In this first part of a two-part roundtable, we checked in with W.H. “Bill” Williams, president and CEO of Funeral Services Inc.; Todd D. Mannix, vice president of sales and marketing for Cooperative Funeral Fund Inc.; Todd Carlson, executive vice president and chief sales officer, Funeral Directors Life Insurance Co.; and Steve Lang, chairman, president and CEO of Homesteaders Life Co., to learn the current trends in preneed sales and what the future might hold. Read more...The Cremation Business Blueprint For Funeral Professionals: PART 2
How to Sell Change to Your Employees: To be a successful funeral professional, you have to think on your feet. That’s particularly true nowadays, when fewer families are opting for burial for their loved ones and funeral professionals are working harder than ever to determine what families want and how to provide it. For the second part of our Cremation Business Blueprint series, we spoke to Kelly McDonald, a marketing and consumer trends expert, on how to get staff to embrace new products and services. Read more...The Cremation Business Blueprint for Funeral Professionals: PART 1
Change or Prepare to Go Away: Tradition is a watchword in funeral service, so getting staff to embrace new ideas can be difficult. Chip Eichelberger, an author and motivational speaker who has worked with companies including Wells Fargo, State Farm and Campbell Soup Co., shares his strategies to get your employees ready to embrace the new cremation landscape. Read more...When It’s High Time For High Tech
Most small business owners know having the proper technology can help their enterprises prosper. However, many of them have technology that is out of date or nonexistent, which doesn’t surprise Ramon Ray, a New Jersey based technology and business consultant and founder of Smallbiztechnology.com. Ray says that there are a variety of reasons why entrepreneurs neglect their firms’ computer and phone needs. Read more...Funerals of the Famous: Pope John Paul II
In the June 2016 issue of American Funeral Director magazine, we highlight the National Museum of Funeral History’s new exhibit, “The Making of a Saint.” Included is the elevation of Pope John Paul II to sainthood. His life and death was chronicled in a special Funerals of the Famous article published in the May 2005 issue of American Funeral Director available now to download. Read more...What Do You Want Me to Do if You Die?
As a funeral director, you have the opportunity to initiate conversations that start by asking a simple question – “What do you want me to do if you die?” These 10 words can open up a conversation for people who want to talk about their deaths but were unsure how to start the conversation. Read more...