Lori Salberg, Director of J3Tech Solutions, joins Jake and Rob for the story behind Performance Tracker. Rob asks Jake about the system’s origins and Lori shares where Performance Tracker is now and how it can assist Funeral Homes and Cemeteries track and improve the customer experience for their client families. To book a demonstration with Lori, select a time in her calendar that is convenient for you: https://meetings.hubspot.com/lori123
See the complete transcript here:
Welcome to the Funeral X Podcast. I am Rob Heppell, and I’m joined with my Funeral Results Marketing business partner, Jake Johnson, and our special guest, Lori Salberg. Hey, Lori. Hey, Jake.
Hey there, what’s up?
Hey, this is going to be exciting. So, today, we’re going to be talking about Performance Tracker and its origin. And I think Jake, I’ll just start with you, and tell us the backstory about why Performance Tracker was created. Was it named something else in the beginning? How was it started? Who was involved? And what did you use to get going?
Absolutely. So, my role before coming on to Johnson Consulting was working at Palm Mortuaries, we were a very busy organization, with thousands of calls basically, and a large market share within Las Vegas, Nevada. And one of the things that you did as an arranger, or at least I did, is I would look at what the arrangement scores were.
If we’re doing surveying, looking at sales averages, and had an impact on how we’re compensated, and it’s tied to receivables as well. But I always thought that was very valuable. And so, when I moved to Phoenix to work at Johnson Consoling with my father, it just started off as my father and I, he has had two funeral homes here.
And they had done surveying, but he had just acquired those funeral homes back. So, they had stopped it, and I wanted to see if I could implement a survey program within our own funeral homes, and see if I could scale it. So, I did. It was a Word document, mail merge. And quickly from there, with the clients that we were starting to build with Johnson Consulting, they had an interest in it.
And the same thing, they were acquiring firms that had been used to doing surveying for accountability of the arrangement they have, and total overall performance of the business, or that location. And so, they were interested in starting it up, where they could outsource that. So, we started doing surveys that way. And it wasn’t just surveys, those sales analyses as well.
Data aggregation, all that kind of stuff. And so, we’re doing that in Excel and Microsoft Word. And then, as the volume got too large, quite honestly, and a good problem to have, we gravitated to an Access database. And then, that was short-lived, because we were growing quickly.
So, it was my first venture into software development, and having a data aggregation software that we would build that would then be known to be called the Performance Tracker. And so, the origins of that actually were through a gentleman by the name of Bill Bischoff in the industry.
He had been around a long time. We’re just talking about what does this thing does. And then, we settled on that name. So, it’s evolved into what it is today, which we’ll get into, but in very humble beginnings, for sure.
So, it was more than just a survey tool of what, I think, a lot of funeral homes would think of is surveying the families after the service. This would also then look at, or get the information about the arrangements themselves, correct?
Absolutely. Everybody would say, and they should say that they do surveys at one level or another. But this one takes it to another level with the way it aggregates data, the benchmarking. There are clear metrics that we’ve identified with why we ask questions on what a high-performing, average-performing, and low-performing funeral business looks like. And it’s really in-depth, and it’s automatic. I call our software really more of a data aggregation tool rather than a survey tool if you will.
And then, you were talking about when it was named Performance Tracker, then how did you take it out from there? So, how did you start to market it? Or was it mainly, you had these two funeral homes that your dad operated, and using that as case studies, and then would just advertise that to the other funeral homes throughout the country?
Correct. Yes, it just grew from there. And our clients, as they still are today, are really part of the program. Meaning, that they’re not only customers, but we’ve all collaborated together on how to continue to improve and create a more dynamic delivery of how we take this data and make decisions on it. So it was word of mouth, a lot of word of mouth.
But also, we did marketing, trade ads, and what have you, and we always continued to refine what that message looks like, and to get it out in the space. And it’s become a real critical tool to a lot of funeral organizations and more to come.
Okay. And I’m going to ask this question to Lori later. But initially, what were the clients letting you know what were the benefits that they were receiving? You said it was a bit more raw and rudimentary in the beginning. And then, as it’s grown, I’ll ask Lori the same question a little bit later. What were they coming back to you? And like, “Hey, Jake, this is really helping us improve our arrangement process or improve our customer service.”
Yes. There’s a lot of value, different value channels through this. So, one would be large organizations where there’s not somebody necessarily boots on the ground to see what’s going on, on a day-to-day basis. It really helps them see what is going on, on a day-to-day basis, and then make decisions on arrangement performance.
And we see how those survey results impact the enterprise value of these businesses when they lose a call, or when they maintain a call. So, there’s the overall performance satisfaction score, metrics that we look at, there is the net promoter score, which is very valuable, a lot of people will look at that. And then, you get into the arranger comparisons within the location, and then location comparisons.
So, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. But you have the very basic uses of it, where you have the customer comments, that our customers to be able to print out a report so they can review those during management arranger meetings, or printing out where there have been issues. And using that to further refine their delivery, and the customer journey, if you will, within the organization.
So, it’s interesting, I must say, while there are some principal parts of the software that every customer uses, there are pieces that some customers expand even further. Like I say, the reports during these meetings to review customer comments and things of that nature. So, there’s a lot to it.
And as Lori will mention, when you get into Lori’s comments, and certainly the online presence, the Google reviews, how that’s impacting the amount of reviews that go within Google for a funeral business, we’re seeing that within my own funeral home. And it’s awesome. That’s what you look for, people want to see how many people have commented on this funeral business, and this program is channeling people that way. So, pretty cool.
So, then, just so I understand, not only are you able to… so if you have a staff of five funeral directors making arrangements, you can get comparisons from them, like interoffice comparison. But then also, with your group of clients, you’re also then establishing benchmarks for what the rest of the community is, the funeral community is doing with Performance Tracker, is that right?
Absolutely. I think that one thing that anybody listening will smile when I say, is everybody will say, “Well, I know my customers or I already send surveys out.” The question is how you’re aggregating it. It’s definitely not to the level of this software and what it does. But the big thing is the tools that you can use from it, it’s next-level stuff. So, I’ve enjoyed it with my own funeral business. It’s that warm blanket knowing that I can’t be in those arrangements every day.
And I want to know what the customer is saying about it, because if the customer is not happy, or there’s a metric that we can tell through the benchmarks we do with over 100,000 surveys that we send out, it’s very easy for me to know when there’s need for improvement or whether that be getting all the arrangers together in a circle, and talking about it, or actually bringing a trainer in to do some training.
Yes, that makes a lot of sense. Now, Jake, before we pass it over to Lori, in your words, when Lori came to Johnson Consulting, maybe you describe her coming onto the team and getting involved with Performance Tracker.
It’s taken us to the next level. Really, what you find out is if anything you do within a company, funeral home owners can correlate this to starting an online cremation business. At some point within the success of that new venture, you have to bring somebody in that you can trust that can take it to the next level.
And that’s what Lori and her team are doing. In fact, I think we’ve even got… have a new iteration of the software based on her observations and client input that she’s gathered as she’s been on board.
It’s really next-level stuff.
Great. Now, hey, Lori, we’ll call you in here, and the folks listening have heard me and Jake talk about our backgrounds. But you might be new to some people. So, before we get into Performance Tracker, maybe just tell a little bit of background about yourself, and getting in the funeral service, and then joining Johnson Consulting.
Yes. Thanks, Rob. So, I actually started my career in early 2001. So, I started in cemetery sales, I was actually a Catholic cemetery sales counselor. And I learned within the first three months that I was in love with this industry, and in the profession of being able to help people in the worst time of their lives. And on the cemetery side, for sure, it’s very vastly different from the funeral.
But at the same time, we’re all in it for the same reason, is to help these families, and help people to get through that time. So, I spent about 10 years doing that or doing cemetery management. And in that time, I was able to enhance our point of sale system, which was a custom-built program, as well as build a CRM, a customer relations management program to try to enhance our pre-need sales leads opportunities.
And then, after that, I moved into another organization that had asked me to get on the federal side. So, I was able to run a combo location, a very large combo location with the funeral home, and crematory, and we were running cremations for six different satellite locations. And so, that was a great experience for me to be able to mesh the two businesses together.
And then, from there, went on to a consulting firm, where we did some more of that, just management of other cemetery and funeral operations, as well as building more software platforms to help run those programs. So, when I met Jake about a year before coming on to Johnson Consulting, and learning more about Performance Tracker, we talked for about a year before I actually came on.
And I don’t even know that we knew what I would be doing exactly for Johnson Consulting, but it felt like a perfect fit with my background in both cemetery funeral, and software development, and building systems, and just bringing technologies to more platforms into the operations, and trying to enhance services. So, that’s really when I got started with Johnson Consulting in 2017.
And I very immediately knew that Performance Tracker was the platform that should be helping every funeral home and cemetery in America and beyond. And I’ve met many clients, and people who run funeral homes and cemeteries, especially funeral homes, who would say now that I use Performance Tracker, I don’t know how I ever ran the business without it.
So, Jake made a great point, and that we’ve got people who could absolutely be remote owners, absentee owners, who are just wanting to understand what’s happening on a daily basis, all the way to people who are there in the grind every day, 24/7, just wanting to make sure that they’re providing the best services to every family that walks in the door, in every interaction with every staff member. So, that’s really how I got started. That’s a little bit of my background.
Okay. Okay. So, then, now you’re at Johnson Consulting, seeing Performance Tracker the way it is, and how it’s serving funeral homes and cemeteries. When did you see, “Oh, there’s way more opportunity here to grow it, and to expand it, make it better?”
I think it’s even bigger than just Performance Tracker. So, when I came on in 2017, Jake had already engaged in this revolution within Johnson Consulting, that was about customer experience. And I think it’s a few years before now, people are all talking about customer experience.
But Jake had wanted to envision an organization where we actually served our clients so that those clients can serve their families by creating an experience throughout the customer journey that was superior to anyone else’s. And so, as we were looking at that, we started looking at Performance Tracker really being able, capable of being a command center for developing better customer experiences.
And I think that’s when we started looking at how can we, and what kind of enhancements can we make? And there’s a couple of interesting things back in 2015, marketing companies across the country were saying, “Hey, the most exciting opportunity for us right now is customer experience.” So, Jake, adopting that vision in 2017, especially for this industry was, he had the foresight to do that.
I just recently read an article from The Wall Street Journal, where there’s a trend of chief marketing officers going away. That role is going away, and they’re being replaced by chief experience officers. Because marketing is no longer about telling people what we do. It’s about understanding what they want, and then being able to deliver the best experience for what they want.
So, when we look at Performance Tracker, I can’t imagine any or other way of understanding what our customers or our families want, unless we’re actually asking them. And it goes beyond just the same typical survey that we send out with the same 10 questions on a notecard, or being happy that we got letters back that told us we did a great job, and then we’re patting ourselves on the back for it.
It’s really digging into every touchpoint, with those families, with every individual in your organization, and knowing where our holes are. So, Performance Tracker, we said how do we get even deeper than that? And so, anyway, Performance Tracker has always been able to give us that feedback along the journey. And then, to Jake’s point, one of the most powerful things is benchmark against other people.
But we said, how can we allow organizations to decide what those benchmarks are, or targets are? So, some of the things that we were able to do now, we are now launching our newer version of Performance Tracker, which we’re actually calling Performance Tracker X, that X factor that I’m still saying 2.0, or 2.3, or whatever it is. It is X, it is exponentially better, it is also that X factor.
Meaning, it’s a variable that you can create. Number one, we can allow you to customize more features within the survey itself, and questions within the survey. And then, also, again, create benchmarks. Maybe it’s if you’re a very large organization against different regions, or just against your particular company, or set targets.
So, now, we can get reporting, that is incentive compensation-based. So, we can actually create reports for your individual arrangers that measure how well they’re doing based on what the family is saying, in addition to what their sales are by case type. And so, when you start drilling into that type of information, and really analyzing that, you can drive performance behavior.
You can drive better results. Surveys are great too, again, give you the pat on the back. But what you do with those results is everything. So, we wanted to be able to enhance what you can do with that. Some of the other things that we’ve added into peak Performance Tracker X, besides being somewhat customizable is Jake mentioned Google reviews.
So, we’re able to help you promote more online reviews, people will take a survey because the information you want to get back to change performance and performance behavior. But you also, then, if you’ve got great reviews or great results, you want to be able to ask people, are you willing to share that? So, pushing out more social review opportunities, and then managing them within the system.
So, if you have negatives, how do you handle those? You can manage them within the system. The other, something we’ve always done in Performance Tracker, but we’ve enhanced is alerts. Just being able to, again, act on, be actionable about the results that you get. So, if you have someone who’s unhappy, or maybe they’re happy, maybe their survey results are fantastic through the roof numbers, but there happens to be one thing that stood out.
Maybe the restrooms just aren’t clean enough, or weren’t clean enough for them, or the vehicles are a little outdated. Whatever that one negative comment is, you’re going to be able to see that, get an emailed alert, know about in your system immediately so that you can take action immediately. Contact that family because that one little thing may lead to a social review.
Then, going back and going, “Hey, they really reached out to me because of that one thing.” Or maybe it leads to a referral. So, you said that you would be willing to promote us, you’d be willing to give us a… you would tell your friends and family that we did a great job for you. Is there anyone that we can talk to? Maybe that’s in a pre-need situation, you can turn these conversations into something more sales opportunities or elite opportunities.
Well, that’s great. Yes, sure. It sounds that it’s progressed over time, and gotten bigger and bigger. So, just for someone to envision how it might work, they’re not getting necessarily a monthly report, even though they might. So, what are their interactions for, like is there a dashboard? Are they able to set different filters so that they see specific things?
And I’m sure the variety of different operations out there, some of those metrics are going to be more important to some folks, and then other ones would be tied there. So, is it something that can be viewed from a dashboard, even from a phone, or how does that look for the manager using it?
Sure. Great. Great question, Rob. So, very simply, the process, I’ll explain that first, is very simple. If you have a system, where write your contracts, a point-of-sale system, we collect all of that information that gives us the ability to basically trigger a survey to go out to the family that you service. The survey then goes out, and they will receive, and you can choose how they receive the survey.
It could be through email, it could be through a SMS, or a text message, it could be a paper survey right now. But we are definitely trying to convert everybody into a digital world because the results are coming back quicker, so you can respond quicker. And as soon as a family takes that survey, and hit submit, you see those results.
So, not only do you see the complete survey, all of the answers, or all the commentary they’ve given on the survey. But to Jake’s point, it’s all aggregated, and all this information is going, and rolling up to some overall scores for how every individual is performing. And yes, you have a dashboard, but you also have a mobile application.
So, if you are that remote owner, or if you’re on services regularly, you could still see that someone immediately told you, “Hey, I was unhappy, or you guys absolutely knocked it out of the park.”
And one of my favorite features, especially in that mobile app is that as soon as you get that, let’s say perfect score, or this person who’s willing to promote you, not only can you from your phone, because we got your phone number, we got their phone number, got your contact information, email address, everything you can reach back out with the family, say thank you, and would you be willing to promote that somewhere?
But you can also send that off to your team. You send that off to the staff and say, “Hey, great job, guys keep it up.” Or again, if there’s a problem, you can immediately say, “Somebody to deal with this, I’m in the middle of a service.” And so, it gives you that immediate pulse on everything that’s happening with what families are saying in real-time.
So, the reporting itself, what you’re seeing on your dashboard, we have based on our experience over the past 15 years, and based on the things that our clients have told us that are most important to them, we set up a standardized dashboard for three specific roles. We have an arranger role, so arrangers are able to see just how they’re performing for the families that they’ve served.
We’ve got a location manager role, where a location manager is really focused on those alerts, those people telling us, “Something went wrong, or great job, fantastic, what do I do with it?” And then, being able to see all the arrangers that work for them. And then, we have what we call an executive level.
So, this is an owner, or if you’re a large organization, a corporation, and you’ve got multiple regions, or locations under your umbrella, you’re going to see all of those. And whatever level you’re at, those reports are rolling up to you. And they’re all customizable. So, again, we put a standard package together, it’s very simple to just get on board, because we have that standard platform.
But if there’s anything more you want to see or less, because you don’t want to see, or you have multiple business segments, if you’re a combo, and maybe you have a cremation brand, and you also have the traditional funeral home and a cemetery, we can break those out, or we do break those out like business segments. So, again, lots of information, but all easily digestible, and set up in a way that makes sense to you for your particular organization.
And I think, Rob, as I think about Lori’s comments in the program, the big lesson for listeners and for us was the value of just customer experience. And everybody says, “Well, Yes, I know, I deliver good customer service.” But the question is how does what you believe, customer service, translate to the staff?
And what has been their life experiences that molds what they believe a good customer experience is? And have you spelled out what a good expected customer delivery is? Have you lined out what an exceptional one is? What below standards are? The customer journey, if there’s an issue.
There’s a lot to it, and this is a tool that plays a part in that. But in the world where everything is becoming commoditized, the great differentiator out of what the customers would perceive to be the same product and service is the way you offer the customer experience. And so, this isn’t meant to be disruptive integration into a funeral business, it’s meant to be a part of the main thing you should be doing at the funeral business.
That’s such a great point, Jake, that it’s not meant to be a disruption. We really are working with you to make it work for you with the kind of information that makes… one of the things that I love is that we do have clients that say, “Hey, we like to measure, we really focused on our arrangers caring about this particular thing, or we want this percentage of result, whatever.” All of that again, you can create those targets, and you can see the reporting the way that you need to see it.
The cool thing, too, that I’ve used. So, obviously, Rob, I’m in a position where I can see all these results. Of course, you take away the name of the location, but we share what is the most high-performing firm doing from an overall performance satisfaction rating, net promoter score, what have you.
So, the highest ones within the system, I shared with my staff who said we’re doing a good job with our customers and said, “Hey, look, well, we’re here. This is where this firm is. It sounds like we certainly can be there, how can we figure out how to do it?” When people think of budgets, they think of financial budgets. I have customer metric budgets of goals, where we want to go to elevate customer experience, and it works.
As I say, what gets measured gets done. But it’s not simply executing of sending out the survey. It’s what you do with that data, to Lori’s point in that data aggregation, and making it something quick and actionable so that you can enhance that experience.
And when it comes to those, you think, “Oh, we are doing a great job.” But how do you know that? And that’s why those benchmarks are really important. Every year, we actually do a whole awards program. So, we take all of the rooftops that are utilizing Performance Tracker, and we have almost 1,000 rooftops in the system.
And we break those down into how large they are, in terms of call volume. And then, we look at their numbers, and we find some really interesting things. So, something that probably isn’t surprising to a lot of people who’ve been in the business for a long time is those smaller boutiques, the funeral homes that do a lower call volume, typically have a higher overall satisfaction score, or overall performance score.
And at the end of the year, we basically take the top 15 performing funeral homes based on this score, and we award the top 15 for basically, the best in class. The best service providers for their size demographic. And again, it’s really interesting to be able to look at those numbers and go, “Okay, so if the best of the best in this country or in the United States and Canada, we serve both, are above 950 out of 1,000 points, and we’re doing 920, well, then we definitely have a goal.”
Because we should, at least, be wanting to be in the top of the class. So, we’ve got numbers like that. And then, we also do an annual trends and Insights report, and anyone who’s in our system has access to that report early on. So, you’re seeing during COVID, especially, it’s been very interesting to watch how the trends in sales have changed, and what people’s preferences are, and how people feel about the experience when they had either lesser opportunities to have services.
And where the better funeral homes fared in that whole environment because they provided more services. So, we’re always happy to share that information. Again, it’s something we do annually, but because we have this aggregation of data, and the ability to benchmark yourself against it, again, I don’t know how you run your business without it. You’re running blind.
Right. That’s exactly how I feel about my funeral business. And I think all should feel the same way. We all have as owners, managers, an idea of who our top-performing arrangers are, how we’re performing at one location over the other. But the measurements, the reports that come out in that data, they tell the story without you having to say anything.
And then, the next question is, what do you do about it, like I keep saying. I’ve always enjoyed that part of it, because I don’t have to guess. And you put it up, like it was, for me, I reflect back on the idea that was a spark in my mind. I just remember looking at that board in the downtown location in Las Vegas, Nevada, and those might be listening to this that work at Paul Mortuary, whether now, it’s on a different board or whatever.
But you’d look there, you didn’t want to be at the bottom of the list. And it was coupled with average sale, what have you. And so, it goes on to a presentation that some maybe have heard, and one that I’m going to be doing later this quarter is about the value of a customer, and what happens when we lose them, and how does it impact equity value, and how you have arrangers that you know their score probably isn’t as high as another.
And then, you’re correlating that with the data on how that average sale looks, and then how the receivables look. And then, the next question is, has that person actually paid more because they’ve been around longer? They just had a bad day, or they’re just grumpy, or whatever. And so, it really helps put meaningful data-driven discussions together where everybody can get behind.
And I have a couple of questions here, and maybe the first part is for Lori, and then for you, Jake. So, Lori, is it possible for you to maybe share, again, rounder numbers, but what benchmarks are out there? Just so people that may not be using the system might have an idea. And then, Jake, if you could then maybe follow up on that with when we see someone say go from 920 to 950, what can you see from a valuation perspective, how that’s going to affect the overall value of the business?
Yes. I can give you some general numbers. And I like to stick within these ranges. And those words really tell the story. So, we actually have a couple of numbers that we measure. Our number one thing that we’re measuring is net promoter score. So, if anyone, how likely that one question you probably get from every business that you interact with today is how likely are you to recommend us to friends or family, right?
And so, it’s on a zero to the 10th scale. We take that question. That is our number one question. Our second question is, overall, how satisfied were you with the services that were provided to you? And then, the third one, is that what we call our value questions. So, how did you feel about the value that was provided for the things that you purchased?
So, that’s more of an emotional experience type of a question, which is really, really powerful. So, those are what we call our overall scores. And then, we have our driver questions within our survey. So, these are all the questions that are very specifically related to how an arranger interacted with you. And then, what the service was like if there was a service.
And then, your vehicles, and your facilities, and those things. So, each of those are questions that are driving, we think they should be deriving to why they said their overall satisfaction was this, and why they felt the value was that. So, I’m not getting into how it’s connected. But there is a 1,000-point scale to… we’re converting those scores that people are giving on a one to five, or a zero to 10-point scale into this 1,000-point scale.
So, we’re looking for 1,000 points as a whole overall performance. So, when we look at our wards at the end of the year, like I said, the smaller volume funeral homes are anywhere above 950, our medium-sized firms are typically around that 935 to 940, or above. Meaning, the best performing at least are getting 940. And then, the largest funerals homes, if you’re doing 500 calls or above, you’re typically our best performers or at least at 930. Or actually more like 925 to 930.
I think that’s an interesting study in itself of just, as we know, as we get bigger, and the owner has to segment out responsibilities, and loses control the whole process, and how customer service, I don’t want to say it this way, but it’s true. It’s said in the numbers, how it falls apart. Even though it’s still very good, it’s not like they met with the owner.
So, the question is, and there are books about this, Rob, you and I have talked about this, creating a product out of a service. How can you create that product, that owner delivery product in your service consistently, through all the people that the funeral customer comes in contact with? That’s a whole presentation in itself for a podcast on our customer service training that goes with this survey software.
But there’s really a method to it, and how we can all work to perfect that, and make that experience feel like it was the only customer of the year is the goal in it, really. But the question is, how do you know where you’re at, and where you’re going to start from, and how do you compare?
Well, I think you already touched on it, Jake, when you talk about that leaderboard, where you start seeing you could… I hate saying it, but you’re stack ranking all of your arrangers together. So, there tend to be trends. There’s going to be those low performers who are consistently those lower performers, and they’re bringing your average down.
So, when you can figure out that formula in your organization where you get those high performers who are consistently at that higher-end, and what are they doing that the people at the bottom are not doing? And if we’re more consistent about training, and training the right things based on whatever that is, that gap is in the middle, you’re going to figure out the formula for your organization.
But the key is, if you don’t know that, if you’re just guessing that that’s the case without actually knowing what those drivers are that need to change, then again, you’re running blind.
Well, and I think if you think of doing surveys, or elevating the surveys that you’re doing through a data aggregation software, like what we’re talking about, if you think of that as initiative, you’re missing the point. It’s supposed to be as part of the business as getting plumbing in the building. It’s just part of what you should have at a funeral organization, at any organization, really.
Again, because it’s really getting to the point where the differentiator from one business to the other is that customer service level. Because they don’t know, especially in the funeral business, how many of your customers are really shopping. It can be price-driven, but they think everybody does funerals. And that goes to the one question that you can ask yourself, ask your homeowner, how do you differentiate from your competition, and it’s interesting to hear the responses.
I’m excited because some of the things that we’re working on to expand the program, as well, are really very much related to the experience, the customer experience. And if anyone knows anything about customer experience, it’s all related to how engaged your employees are. So, being able to even survey your employees, and understand how engaged they are, and how their experience can be different.
Because do they have all the tools to make themselves successful? Do they have the feedback they need to know where they need to make improvements? And are you compensating them appropriately for doing a great job, or being at the top of that leaderboard, or hitting all the right metrics, from a service perspective, and the sales side?
These are all things that can be driven in Performance Tracker, and these are all things that we continue to enhance to help make your business run. To your point, it’s not just an initiative, it’s running your business just being optimal. And using the metrics to do that.
Well, that’s great. A couple more things before we sign off. Lori, what would you say to a cemetery manager, or a funeral home owner who might be on the fence about taking this in? They might think, “Oh, this is going to just be another big thing that I have to manage.” And can you put their minds at ease?
Yes, absolutely. As I said, we have done the heavy lifting of putting together a standard platform. And you can start off with just a very basic, let’s get feedback, let’s understand what our customers are really thinking, and feeling, and just go with what we’ve been doing best for the last 15 years, asking the very specific questions, and getting that feedback.
You just tell us you want to get started, and we will reach out to whoever manages your data to get that information. And then, very simply, we give you access to the system, and we set you up. It really could be done with about an hour of your time. That’s all you had to spare. We will get you started. And then, we’ll hold your hand through, making sure you understand what you’re doing with those numbers, and how you can make improvements.
But at the very least, if somebody does nothing else, get the feedback you’re your families that you’re serving, and then figure out how to do something with it. Those note cards, and those thank yous are great, but it’s just not enough to help you run your business.
Excellent. Now, what should folks do if they would want a bit more information?
Yes. So, I think, Rob, can you send out a link? I don’t know the best way of getting our information out there. We can schedule a demo to show the system. If you have 15 minutes to spare, we can show you a demo of the basic platform, and get you at least to understand what’s possible. So, I can send you my link to my booking calendar, and we can schedule that time. You can also go to our website, getperformancetracker.com, and learn a little bit more.
That sounds great. Yes. And we’ll include that too. Any final words before I let you go?
I’d say, as my father always says, there are those that are wondering what’s happened, there’s those that are making things happen. I think there’s one other. But then, just make it happen. Again, it’s just to be part of what you do. And to say that you’re doing surveys, without the aggregation, and the actionable methods behind it, you’re not accomplishing the goals.
So, certainly, what we all do is a very personal thing for our families. And so, understanding how they were impacted by it, and how that then ultimately, as I’ve been able to show, how that impacts the value of a business is very profound and really speaks for itself.
Great. Thanks, Jake. Lori?
Yes. If there’s any one thing I just would want to make sure people understand, we talked about being able to promote more social online reviews, and of course, it’s so, so important right now. But I think people, I’ve heard a lot of people losing, really, an understanding that there are two different things going on here.
It’s getting very specific feedback in a survey from families about how your company, meaning all the people within your company, and how your systems, how you performed, what that family’s experience was with you. And then, it’s great, them telling the world that they had this great experience. And I think people seem to think they’re the same thing.
Like, “We’re going to get a lot of social reviews, we have a lot of online Google reviews. And that’s all I care about. That’s enough.” It’s actually not. Because if you want to drive more of those reviews, and continue to be relevant in your marketplace, where people are going to choose you online, then you need a lot of those reviews, and you need them to be very current.
But you also want to know how to make the changes in the business so that people will actually say, “Yes, I’m going to go to them.” So, the surveys give you that feedback. And they’re about how you operate your business, not just the marketing aspect of it. So, I have to bring it up, because I’m hearing it more and more that people don’t understand that there’s a difference, and there’s a very distinct difference. But they go hand in hand. So, just keep that in mind. Both are very, very important.
I think two final points. Lori had mentioned there, you did, Rob, about referring people to Lori, and say I want to get a bigger demo. We have not hit on the whole of what this application, and what the system can do. There are lead-generating components to it. It’s really a complete customer touchpoint in reinforcing customer service, and getting customers to maybe do a pre-need, or any type of follow-up. So, there’s a lot to it.
Well, that’s great. I’ve learned a lot today just listening to the story, and from both of your points of view. And I think this is going to be great to let people know how they can just raise that level of that customer experience in both on the cemetery side and the funeral home side. I’d like to thank you for spending your time with us today. Our goal is to share our experience as insights in the hope it will help you, and other funeral professionals be more successful, and provide more meaningful services for your client families. Make sure you check back soon for another episode of the Funeral X Podcast. Until the next time, this has been Lori Salberg, Jake Johnson, and Rob Heppell.
Great, thank you.
Thanks a lot.