Funeral Services and the Web Intro Episode Transcript

with Tyler Fraser

Tyler Fraser – Hello. My name is Tyler Fraser and I am your host for Funeral Services in the Web. I am extremely pleased to be recording this first episode. My mission with Funeral Services in the Web, is to seek out internet related businesses and concepts and effectively explain them to funeral professionals.

A little background on myself; along with cremation urns, one of my life’s passions is technology. It all started with my interest in photography, when I began to shoot with Nikon cameras and edit the photographs in Photoshop. Part of the adobe suite is Dreamweaver, which is still a staple for the web design community. And, I began to work on websites. Optimizing websites goes hand-in-hand with designing them, so I became interested in internet marketing and eventually got my family’s company, In the Light Urns, to the top of the search rankings for cremation urns. Since then, I’ve managed several websites and attended around fifteen internet marketing conferences. In early 2010, I started Funeral Director’s Chat with Nancy Burban – which turned into a very successful show – and three months ago, I started Funeral Radio. That is basically the bulk of what has led me to be behind the microphone now, and if you’d like to learn more, please visit me at LinkedIn, where you can see my full resume.

Now on to the good stuff.

Erik Schmidt, CEO of Google, said, “It’s pretty clear that the internet is probably the greatest disruptor of all time.” I think it’s kind of funny that he said, ‘it’s pretty clear that the internet is probably’, but, I would have to agree with him. And, you might say that the printing press had more of an impact on society, and if you thought that, you might be right – or you might be underestimating the internet. The internet is extremely important. Let’s discuss a couple ways that your funeral home can use the internet to bring in more business or make your funeral home run more smoothly.

Your funeral home can use a customer relationship management program such as Sales Force or Highrise. This program allows you to document the experiences that you have with your customer. Typically, it’s used to manage accounts. But if you have a long term relationship with a family, this is a great way to document services, so that in 25 years you can say that we served your Aunt Margaret.

It might seem distasteful, but you can check-in to a funeral. There are services where, like Foursquare and Facebook, allow you to check-in to a location. If the funeral is a location – it can either be your funeral home or the actual person’s funeral – they can check-in and tell people on their social networks that they are remembering Uncle Joe. This message could go out to family members in Scotland immediately.

Another idea of how to use the internet is to offer support through advertising. This can be achieved by offering display ads to people who visit your website. And, especially in our industry, we need to do it with certain amount of tack, so that when they see your website, and they are on another website, you will show an add to them. And this add will probably be focused on the fact that you are here to help. If you’ve been on, they will serve up ads to you – after you’ve left the website – of the products you’ve seen.

And lastly, sending a follow-up email to clients that have used your funeral home. There’s a lot that you can do with this follow up email. You can ask them to complete a survey, which asks about your services.

So, as you can see, there’s a lot to talk about. There’s a lot that we can discover and learn about the internet and discuss how the internet can help you and your funeral home operate more smoothly and effectively.

The take away message for this show is; the internet is a huge change for our society. Just because it’s relatively slow doesn’t mean it isn’t profound. Funeral homes that take advantage of it will see lots of benefits and have an edge on their competitors. Those who don’t will be missing out on a huge opportunity.

Recommended reading is a blog post by How Stuff Works called, “What is the Future of the Internet”.

And finally, a Fraser Fact: more than half of small businesses do not have a website.

Thank you for listening to the first episode of Funeral Services in the Web. I know that there’s going to be a lot more great content to come. Tune in next show where we’ll continue the discussion about what the internet means for funeral homes with Manny Rivas of Aim Clear. Until next time.

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