Milos Djordjevic, the owner and operator of Caring Cremations. We sat down with Milos to talk about how Parting Pro has helped his high volume cremation service during this time of COVID-19. Watch or read our conversation below.
Parting Pro: Alright, awesome. So we have Milos here today. Milos, do you want to just quickly introduce yourself?
Milos: Sure. This is Milos Djordjevic. I’m the owner of Caring Cremations here in Chicago.
Parting Pro: Awesome. Today I just want to spend some time talking with people about their experiences with Parting Pro. And you’ve been with us since I think the beginning of 2020, so about…
Milos: Yeah, I think February of this year.
Parting Pro: So you’re about six months in today. Why don’t we start from the beginning? Why don’t you help us understand – before we started engaging with you, what was your process like? What were you trying to accomplish? What kind of problems were you facing, and what kind of frustrations did you have?
Milos: Sure. So we’re a pretty high-volume cremation service here, and there’s a lot of paperwork all over the place. So we needed something initially just to manage the paperwork. So I thought this would be a great way to have everything in one place. Also, I wanted to build the reviews. Reviews are super important nowadays. It’s such a great way that you guys worked at it, and we’ve been loving it. I think I had over 130 five-star reviews already. So that’s been super helpful. Then, of course, online arrangements have been a lifesaver, especially during COVID. People weren’t comfortable coming in, nor were we comfortable having people come in. So sending the arrangement process via email and doing all the paperwork via email has been just tremendous. I can’t say how helpful you guys have been, so thank you so much.
Parting Pro: Thanks for that. Why don’t we dive into that a little bit – what were the steps you were doing before Parting Pro? What was the process like when you were doing it online? Just take us through that process.
Milos: Sure. We have an online arrangement process that just wasn’t converting very well. It was clunky and people ended up calling three, four, five times during the arrangement. Now I get a new family that arranges everything without even a call sometimes, so that’s been tremendously helpful. As far as paperwork, we did do some electronic through DocuSign, signatures… but again, with DocuSign, you can’t see at what stage they are and you can’t get on the phone and help them at a certain point. This way, you can log in at the same time and see where they’re stuck. So it’s been very helpful.
Parting Pro: Got it. So it reduces a lot of the friction that the families may have.
Milos: Honestly for me, it’s been like having an extra employee.
Parting Pro: Oh, wow.
Milos: It’s really been tremendous.
Parting Pro: Okay. What areas do you think your business or life has improved since Parting Pro?
Milos: Time. I used to spend so much more time just trying to get everything together. Now everything is right in front of me. I take my work home with me, I have it on my iPad – someone calls with a question, I can just search that file to see exactly what they’re asking for. Whereas when I would have to be in the office, I’d have to open the physical file, look it up, things like that. So everything has just been so smooth. It’s been amazing.
Parting Pro: Gotcha. Do you think if you could quantify – like, maybe how much time per day you save on average?
Milos: That would be hard to say. It would be hard to say specifically just because of the added business, I’m sure some of it is because of Parting Pro and because of you guys, but also due to the COVID-19 virus. And I couldn’t even imagine what we’d be going through if I didn’t have this set up before everything hit, unfortunately. It’s a horrible situation, but without this software, I really don’t know where we would be. And again, thank you.
Parting Pro: You’re welcome, no problem. Thank you. You’ve been one of our easiest customers to work with. What about on the revenue side of things? I understand time has been a big time saver, it’s like almost like another employee. What about on the revenue side? How do we help you there?
Milos: Again, it’s really hard to determine a percentage. I definitely have a lot more business. I know for a fact some of it is due to the ease of the arrangements, but also due to the virus. But I can tell you for sure that the sale of merchandise has exploded. I would say if I were to guess – it’s not really a guess, it’s a pretty good guess – about 75% more, no joke, increase in revenue for urns and pendants, just merchandise in general. To me, it’s been a Godsend. There’s no other word to describe it. I’m so happy to be even talking to you right now and hopefully helping you guys out because you’ve been so helpful to me.
Parting Pro: Awesome. It sounds like you’re making more sales, but it’s actually also less work on your end. Less selling, less hard selling…
Milos: It is. And that’s the one thing – I’m here to help every family that reaches out to me. I don’t want to come across as a salesman, because we’re not. We’re counselors, we’re here to help you, we’re here to guide you. I don’t want to seem like I’m pushing them towards something. This way, it allows them on their own time from their own home to choose exactly what they want, and don’t choose things that they don’t need. So it’s been… That stress of not coming across as a salesman has also been a very helpful tool.
Parting Pro: Okay. Thanks for that. Let’s talk about the process – can you walk us through the process? Someone that we just onboarded, there’s obviously a lot of steps that we need to take to help you get up and running – can you walk us through that process? What was it like working with us? In terms of when you got onboarded – we took you through an onboarding process, when there are changes to be made, obviously we have a support team. Can you just explain to everyone how that’s being done?
Milos: Everybody has been tremendous. So there are two ways – I’m constantly adding things to it, subtracting things, adding new forms, having a question here and there… So what I started doing is kind of emailing or texting you or Will or one of the other guys, Tyler has been amazing… But just as simple and probably even more effective is right in the back end of the software on the website, I just click away, write a message, ask a question, right on the platform and within minutes I get a response. Typically, that gets taken care of instantly. I don’t even think about that. It’s a good question, but it’s so fluid that it doesn’t even pop into my mind. There’s nothing really – it gets fixed immediately, so it’s been amazing.
Parting Pro: Awesome. I think most people watching the video, probably at some point, they’ve already seen a demo and they’re trying to evaluate whether or not they should work with Parting Pro. What would you say to them?
Milos: The main thing is… And these people are my competitors, so don’t use… No, I’m kidding. I use it for both traditional funerals and cremation services. Cremation services, it’s a no brainer. But funeral homes – if you are okay with placing your prices on your website, you’ll see a tremendous difference in people about building trust, about receiving new business, just by the fact that you have your prices online. I think people really respect that. I think the demographic is changing. I think people want to do arrangements from home. I don’t think they want to come into funeral homes, even if they’re having traditional funerals. I think a lot of the paperwork and choosing what they want and knowing what they’re getting into when they do come into a funeral home is super beneficial. It has been for me. So I would unfortunately highly recommend it. [laughs] I hate saying this because I don’t want them to get on it. But no, I wish you guys the best because you’ve been so helpful to me. So yes, I highly recommend you guys to anybody.
Parting Pro: Awesome. Thanks. It sounds like we were able to help you on the timing aspect, on the revenue aspect, and streamlining operations, and really helping you with pretty much everything you need. Do you have any comments for us on anywhere we can improve on?
Milos: I spoke to Tyler about this briefly, and I think this is your next step – integrating pre-arrangements with funding. So partnering up with an insurance company where we can actually pre-fund these arrangements. I know it’s very difficult because every state has their own rules, as far as pre-need is concerned. But to me, that will be your next big step.
Parting Pro: Okay.
Milos: And another thing that I think would be great is a payment plan option. So partnering with one of the many different funeral home funding agencies – so if people don’t have the funds, they can click an option and pay over time, things like that. Did I lose you a little bit?
Parting Pro: Gotcha. No, we’re good. Cool. The first one is in the works, the second one I think we talked about before. So how we build a product is really from feedback from you guys, see what you guys like, and people vote on it and we do some discovery and build it like that.
Milos: I think those are the two main ones. And then the third one that I think will also kind of help you guys build… converting more funeral homes, cremation services is having maybe a few different templates. So not have that one template where you can’t really differentiate my service through another company that might be my competitor. So this way if my competitor wanted to use you guys, although it’s Parting Pro, it will look a little bit different. I think that’s also super key for you guys.
Parting Pro: Got it. So you’re worried about your competitors using us, but…
Milos: Well, you know… At the end of the day, we’re here to help people. So I want families that might not choose me to choose a different service that will give them the same sort of service or level of service. But it will be nice to have it differentiated. So if they use whatever cremation service down the street, their arrangement process is a little bit different. Maybe not structurally, but different colors, different fonts, something. I think as soon as you guys do that, you’ll get a huge increase in business. I’m positive that some people who haven’t switched to you maybe see the competitor and say, “Well, I don’t want it to look exactly the same.”
Parting Pro: Gotcha. Okay. That’s good feedback. Cool – so anything else you want to mention in terms of your business and how you’ve grown? Or do you think we’ve covered everything?
Milos: I think we covered it. I’m excited, it’s growing like crazy. I think thanks to you guys, and the level that we’re committed to provide – we are the highest rated cremation service in Chicago now. A lot of it has to do with thanks to you, and you guys helping us generate the reviews.
Parting Pro: Yeah, those reviews are important, right?
Milos: They’re incredibly important.
Parting Pro: It helps you convert down funnel.
Milos: Sure. Well, it separates you from the rest.
Parting Pro: Yeah, it helps people apply that social proof right away. You get that quantity and the quality metric right there.
Milos: Of course.
Parting Pro: Okay, awesome. Well, thanks for your time. I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to me. It’s so nice of you to just take the time to talk to us.
Milos: More than happy to do it. Like I said, you guys have been amazing. Whatever you guys need, I’m here.
Parting Pro: Alright, awesome. I’ll hold you to it. [laughs]
Milos: You got it.
Parting Pro: Thanks for your time, I appreciate it.
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