A year of funeral plan progress

words: Mark Moran, Golden Charter Director of Sales
Digital support

In the 12 months since Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulation of pre-paid funeral plans, we’ve seen great improvements across the board for customers. Golden Charter’s Commercial Director, Mark Moran, discusses the plan provider’s continued commitment to keeping customers at the heart of everything it does.

Our independent funeral director partners have long put the needs of the families they serve at the forefront. In the past year, together we’ve had the opportunity to demonstrate that fair treatment of customers in everything we do.

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulation marked the beginning of a new era in funeral planning that’s undoubtedly been favourable for customers and helped strengthen families’ trust in the market.

The huge increase in the adoption of digital practices by our partners following FCA regulation has resulted in significant benefits for customers and fresh opportunities. Our new sales journey helps to ensure that customers are in no doubt about what they’re buying, and that it’s the right product for them. Our latest research results found that changes to the sales journey following regulation have improved customer satisfaction and 100% of customers found purchasing a Golden Charter funeral plan easy.1

Workshopping customer experience

We never underestimate the importance of listening to both existing and prospective customers. Understanding their needs and expectations is essential in ensuring that we always offer the best solutions to those needs in an ever-changing market.

Nearly one in two people who’ve organised a funeral in the past three years intend to purchase a funeral plan.2 Letting customers know you can connect them with their choice of funeral while it’s front of mind presents a valuable opportunity for independents.

Using customer insight, we recently launched a new interactive programme designed to provide our partners with the tools and insight to connect with funeral plan customers more effectively.

We’re committed to helping businesses plan for success and helping you secure future funerals.

Feedback from funeral directors who’ve engaged with the workshops has been extremely positive and it’s been great to hear about the contribution from attendees so far.

Our workshop has helped funeral directors think about their own customer experience and how they can improve and engage with new customers. The attendees have all provided great feedback and are delighted to be offered this free training. They’ve enjoyed the informative, collaborative approach, and have set their own actions following the sessions.

Evolving with customers

As changing funeral trends reflect customer preferences, it’s important that we support our partners with solutions that meet customers’ needs. Adding digital solutions enables businesses to embrace online preferences and provide more efficient services that give customers more choice.

The pandemic expedited a move to digital, with many families making use of online video links to funeral services. In the pre-need space, customers now prefer to search online for information about funeral plans.

We’ve supported our partners with website wording, online brochures and online plan sales that are easy to share via email and other messaging services. Providing more information digitally allows customers to find out more about funeral plans in the ways that best suit them.

Our digital applications system allows our appointed representative partners to bring customers along with them in a logical and simplified way.

We continue to develop our digital offering to improve support to customers by providing a purchase journey in their preferred format.

Our enquiry manager is a popular tool used by our introducer appointed representative partners. In addition to our dedicated introducer appointed representative phoneline, our enquiry manager offers another way for funeral directors to refer funeral plan customers to us.

Once the details are submitted, we receive them immediately and will get back in contact with the customer at the time they specified would suit them.

Our contact centre team’s job is to support enquirers with the information they need to help them decide if a funeral plan is the right product for them.

We’re developing the tool for our appointed representative partners too. There’ll be lots of different options to help you to keep on top of the customer journey and easily offer support.

Personal development for customer experience

The anniversary of the first year of FCA regulation also marked the end of the first year of continuing professional development (CPD) for our Appointed representative partners. I’d like to thank all approved persons and plan sellers who completed their CPD requirement. Our second year of regulation has now begun and, with it, our new CPD year.

Completing CPD is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate a continued commitment to personal improvement for the benefit of customers. We provide a variety of training options for our partners who guide customers through the sale of a funeral plan, from digital workshops to market updates, that all count towards your CPD requirement each year. Even our tailored customer experience workshop can be counted as CPD.

Our CPD resources are available now and we’ll soon make your updated eLearning modules available again via your My CPD page.

Supporting you to meet customer demand

We have the largest network of appointed representative and introducer appointed representative partners of any regulated funeral plan provider.

Working with funeral directors across the country, we understand the importance of the relationships independents have with their communities. Offering access to funeral plans can bring huge value to both families and funeral director firms.

Our introducer appointed representative model has become more widespread in recent months. In fact, it’s the fastest growing route to providing Golden Charter funeral plans.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,