By Laura Acevedo, eHow Contributor
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Successful funeral floral companies offer efficient services in a sensitive and compassionate manner. Whether a funeral flower company focuses on a geographic area or is an Internet-based business, a well-crafted marketing strategy helps increase sales and profit. When considering marketing strategies for funeral floral services and products, focus on increasing sales through strategic alliances, efficiencies and complementary goods and services. 1.Cultural Sensitivity
oMake sure to offer flowers that are appropriate and culturally sensitive. For example, red flowers would be inappropriate for a Chinese funeral because red is the color for happiness in Chinese societies. Create a list of appropriate flowers and colors by culture and country to use as a reference. When someone orders flowers, you should inquire about any cultural limitations on the arrangements. Artificial Flower Arrangements
oHave an assortment of artificial flower arrangements ready for customers to view. Customers can make selections based on these arrangements if they want fresh flowers. Artificial arrangements can also be used for installation at grave sites. Funeral Home
oWork with funeral homes to offer funeral flowers as part of the overall funeral service package. It may be difficult for loved ones to think about in-depth service details while they are mourning, so a package arrangement is easier and can provide your company with a consistent stream of orders. Consider packages that include coffin sprays, wreaths, service adornment and grave site arrangements. Complementary Offers
oOffer complementary products that individuals can order when purchasing sympathy floral arrangements. You could offer fruit baskets, sympathy cards, plants and memorial pieces. Offer food delivery services for individuals who want to help the family with practical matters during their grief. Gravesite Services
oOffer to refresh floral arrangements for grave sites on a routine basis for family members. For example, you could offer monthly or quarterly services that update grave sites or family plots with new floral arrangements and provide tending services. This is especially helpful to family members who live far away from family graves.
Creating Excellence in Customer Service: A Mandate for Funeral Homes by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.
Have you ever noticed how customer service receives a great deal of lip service in this industry? Across all of funeral service, in both small and large funeral homes, family-owned and corporate, many people hold the timeless thought that the "customer is king." Yet, despite this philosophy, funeral service is confronted with a service crisis. Why? This article will present reasons for the service crisis and emphasize the need for funeral homes to proactively seek excellence in their day-to-day customer service delivery. Exploring the Why? of the Service Crisis
First, let me acknowledge that the majority of funeral directors–owners, manager, and front-line personnel alike–generally want to deliver excellent customer service. However, observation suggests that there is often a gap between the desire to offer excellent service and the performance of that service. Here are some reasons for this phenomenon:
•The Customer Has Changed
The consumer-focused movement that began in the 1960s dramatically changed people's expectations of business throughout North America. The government responded to the Ralph Nader advocates and created new consumer protection laws. The politics of consumer protection raised people's paranoia that they might be ripped-off and increased their general service expectations as well. Today's consumers are better-educated. They want value for their money and aren't afraid to ask for explanations of charges. Nor are they afraid to comparison shop. In fact, for some...