Effective online support


Since its launch in January 2018, the team behind localfuneral.co.uk has been working with independent funeral directors to develop new, flexible features to help their businesses compete effectively online.

As well as putting families in touch with their local independent funeral director at the time of need, the platform now includes the ability to further personalise listings with images and logos, create shareable Funeral Notices and access a new Business Insight dashboard.

One of the most recent updates to localfuneral.co.uk has given Independents the ability to add the price of a Simple Funeral to their listing.

SAIF and the NAFD have, for some time, recommended that members make their pricing available online. More recently, the Funeral Service Consumer Standards Review (FSCSR), an industry-led group made up of stakeholders from across the sector, has announced it is looking at ways to make it easier for customers to compare funeral prices online in a bid to improve transparency.

Analysis of user behaviour and independent research have also made it clear that customers expect to find prices on localfuneral.co.uk.

A survey conducted by YouGov on behalf of the NAFD last year found that 84% of people who had organised a funeral in the past five years said they would like to see prices listed online. Therefore, there was clear demand for an online pricing feature.

The Simple Funeral package, which is based on a model developed with the input of SAIF and the NAFD, is broken down into the price of a coffin, funeral director services and the local crematorium fees, and operates as a guide price for visitors to localfuneral.co.uk. This means customers can compare funeral directors in their area more easily.

What the localfuneral.co.uk team is very clear about is that pricing is only displayed with the explicit consent of the funeral director, who is free to make changes and update pricing at any time. Participation in the site is entirely at the discretion of each independent funeral director, and the same applies to the information displayed on the listings, which Independents can easily update themselves as often as necessary.

The localfuneral.co.uk team is available now to discuss the various features available to independent funeral directors.

To make an appointment, contact the localfuneral.co.uk support team on 0141 931 6384 or by email.

This month, Jeffery Gascoigne from A. J. Gascoigne & Son in Northumberland shares his experience of localfuneral.co.uk and its features so far

What made you choose to list your prices on localfuneral.co.uk?

The Competition & Markets Authority is looking at the funeral industry to ensure better service and transparency for the general public.

Prices will always differ, and some companies will provide better service than others. Adding our prices allows the customer to decide.

What would you say to other Independents who are thinking about listing their prices on localfuneral.co.uk?

Traditionally, families have used the same company where they’ve received a good service in the past, and word of mouth is also a big factor. However, in this age of technology, more people are looking online for services and localfuneral.co.uk is featured heavily on funeral searches.

That means if you’re not on there, you won’t get noticed. If your prices aren’t listed then there’s a good chance you’ll be overlooked by the customer as they want to know upfront what they’re getting for their money.

What other aspects of localfuneral.co.uk have you found that have benefited your business?

Today there are fewer people buying newspapers, and more are using mobile phones and going online to keep updated with news. Lots of families are now moving towards Facebook to inform family and friends of funeral arrangements.

That’s why we’ve been using localfuneral.co.uk’s Funeral Notice tool, which provides an additional service for families at no charge. The notices can be displayed on your own website and shared on Facebook, with the option for family and friends to leave condolence messages and link to a donations or charity site.

Today’s families are looking for more and the Funeral Notice feature offers this as an alternative to traditional newspapers without the additional cost. Give it a go. It provides an extra service for clients and hopefully it will drive more traffic to your website.

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