Do you publish Funeral Prices on Your Website?
How do you feel as a consumer if you can't find cost and pricing information on a website? Would you agree that it's usually one of, if not the first thing that you look for on a website when researching a purchase?
And how long do you hang around on a website if there's no mention of pricing, do you keep on trawling through the website and if you can't find it do you then decide 'oh never mind I'll just give them a call'?
No, you get frustrated. You probably quickly go back to the search results and find another website that addresses the question of price. Usually the owner of that website will be the company who gets your trust, the phone call and often the business. This is how we are as buyers, searchers and consumers today.
Why would you not put funeral prices on your website?
Is it because you don't want your competitors to know? The fact is your competitors already have a good idea what you charge, as you do of them.
Do you avoid publishing funeral prices because you don't want to put potential customers off if your prices are more than they want to spend? Is it because every customer and funeral is different?
Most consumers understand that cost will vary depending upon the specification of the service/items they finally decide upon and if you are demonstrating integrity then those differences will not come as a surprise to your customer.
It's more likely that you will put people off by not discussing price on your website. The one item that generates more searches, website visits, leads and customers is information about price.
How to Discuss Pricing on Your Website
Discuss the market
People are seeking clarity, cost is part of that however not everyone is interested solely in finding the cheapest provider. Address the question of the whole market taking full account of all of your competitors and your position in the market.
What determines cost?
Explain the components of a funeral cost that can drive the price up or down, why the cheapest are cheap and why the most expensive are expensive. What factors influence cost?
Where do you stand?
Discuss your own company’s philosophy on pricing. 'Within this range we are here and this is why, this is where we stand'
Include an explainer video on your website for the benefit of people who prefer that format, this will also be more shareable than text content therefore a more effective marketing asset. Make the video factual as opposed to ‘salesey’.
Include self-selection pricing so people can configure their own package with an approximate cost. Self selection is not just the future of the digital buying experience, it’s the present!
Where do Your Prices Stand in Comparison?
Talk about what people will find across a range of companies in the market and how your company stands within the marketplace.
Once they have an idea of the marketplace you can win trust as a result of helping them understand.
Many established funeral businesses currently have successfully operated for a long time without itemising costs on their website. That being the case why should they be influenced by outside opinion into changing that strategy if it's working for them?
Funeral Costs - Trade Secrets?
Pricing can be a delicate subject with business confidentiality and trade secrets looming large. The perception that published prices will make it easier for a competitor to undercut on price is a genuine fear for some funeral businesses. In reality trade secrets around pricing are largely imagined, generally we have a fairly good idea of what our competitors charge and vice versa. Better therefore to concentrate on our customers than live in fear of our competitors.
The information age is well and truly with us, alongside genuine information consumers are fed information that that can accurately be described as 'fake news'. All forms of media, TV, press and social media are obsessed with hype, distorted and inaccurate reporting abounds and is often accepted as fact. The funeral profession can often be on the receiving end of such reporting.
The Digital Tipping Point Approaches
There are two reasons why as a funeral director you might consider re-thinking the traditional approach to publishing prices on your website. Firstly the effects of the digital age on consumer buying and lifestyle habits that will inevitably achieve a tipping point that changes the profession forever. Secondly, the sensitivity of the profession to 24/7 media attention.
The funeral profession is at the time of writing awaiting further news of the Competition and Market Authority’s investigation and funeral price transparency is fundamental to the investigation. If the industry norm is to publish prices online outside criticism will be difficult.