Recently, the Federal Trade commission released its annual survey of consumer complaints; their findings showed that there is an increase in complaints in just about every industry…except funeral services. In fact, this is one of a handful of industries that has actually seen a decline in complaints. What does this mean and how does it happen?
While it is difficult to pinpoint the exact reason, the FTC report implies that funeral services has figured out a better way to provide customer service in a time where others are truly struggling.
The struggle makes sense. After all, everyone can be a vocal critic in this age of internet reviews. Any customer who has had a negative experience simply has to pop in to any number of review websites such as Yelp or Google and warn others to stay away. The good news is that this works the other way around too—if a customer has had a great experience they are also very likely to proclaim it from the digital mountaintops and encourage others to use the same service.
So how did the funeral service industry find the path to customer service improvement? We have some ideas:
Built on Caring
Funeral homes are almost entirely built on their ability to provide sensitive care to their customers. The individuals and families with whom they deal are particularly vulnerable and require a high level of compassion. No funeral home could succeed without these vital offerings, so, in a sense, a funeral home minimizes customer complaints simply by doing what they do.
Family-Owned or Small
Many funeral homes are either family-owned or fairly small, which makes it all the more likely that you are getting all the personal attention and support that you need. Small organizations, in general, attract more scrutiny and, as such, know to be better prepared.
Although primarily servicing funeral proceedings, funeral homes are usually highly involved with the communities they serve. Here at Phaneuf, we frequently hold community events and guest speakers that are open to the public, not just our clients. If a business is deeply engaged and considered “part of the family,” there is greater reason to believe that their customers will rally around it, even in times of trouble.
Whatever the reason, consumers have spoken and they have given a big vote of confidence to funeral services. In many ways, it is both the industry and the consumer who have made the difference; we do our best to provide excellent service and you do your best to spread the word and help our cause.