I know what you’re thinking. Once our customers pass away and use our services, they’ll never become repeat customers…zombie apocalypse aside…but that’s not what I’m talking about.
The customers I’m talking about are the people who attend committal service at your cemetery. They were right here on your property…depending on when you’re reading this..they may be outside right now! Now…how are we going to keep them? I don’t mean you should go out there and lock the gates…but there are a few things that you can do to sell these individuals on the benefits of becoming a burial right holding customer of your cemetery.
Have a sales person lead the procession to the burial site, not a grounds crew member. While there are certainly outgoing grounds crew members, sales people are natural born talkers trained to answers many of the questions that may come up at a committal. I’m not suggesting you send someone to the burial site to obtain referrals, however, I am suggesting that you instruct your sales person to touch base with the family of the deceased, as they may have questions about monuments or inscriptions.
The people under the tent just purchased your services, the people standing outside the tent are potential new customers. Be sure the experience you provide for them is just as accommodating as the one you provide for those under the tent. Make sure the area is maintained using the tic-tac-toe method I wrote about in a previous blog post. Place extra greens on the perimeter of the tent for attendees to stand on during the services. On rainy days, provide extra staff equipped with umbrellas to escort people to the site. If you have golf carts, provide transportation for attendees who might need help walking from the back of a procession to the burial site. The number one question asked by people attending a graveside service is “Where are am I going?” Anticipate this concern by providing maps to the graveside service at your entrance if attendees are to meet at the grave site. Provide bottled water during warm days and hand warmers during cold ones.
I encourage you to provide the best services possible under the tent but remember the potential of those standing just outside it.