Suzanne Walley is the co-owner of Colonial Funeral Home. We sat down with Suzanne to talk about how Parting Pro has helped her grow her cremation business because it was such an easy process for the consumer as well as the funeral home. Watch or read our conversation below.
Parting Pro: Today I have Susan here with me. Susan, maybe you can introduce yourself really quickly for everybody?
Susan Wally: I’m Susan Wally with Colonial Funeral Home of Leesburg, and my husband and I own the business. We met up with Parting Pro about a year ago.
Parting Pro: Let’s go back about a year ago – help us understand where you were at a year ago, what kind of problems were you facing? Or what kind of problems were you trying to solve before we engaged, and what were your frustrations?
Susan Wally: We discovered in our area that there was a lot of price shopping, and we had a competitor that started a low-cost cremation center. We were just trying to figure out how we could compete with this, but still not lose our generalized business of a full-service funeral home. So, I kept getting alerts from Parting Pro on the computer – Facebook and social media – and I was like, “Hmm… I need to check into this.” So, I checked into it and I liked what I saw.
Parting Pro: Got it. So, you guys are facing competition with someone undercutting you, and you worried about competing on price because most of your business is doing well, right? So, you didn’t want to cannibalize your own market. What did you do with Parting Pro? What results have you achieved, or how has it changed the business?
Susan Wally: I went over it with my husband and he was a little skeptical at first and had to educate himself on it, and then finally I convinced him, and he said, “Let’s give it a try.” So, we started our first month, we did five death calls online. It was such an easy process for the consumer as well as the funeral home. I could do it from my house, I could do it from my car. I didn’t have to be in a central location. It was really consumer-friendly, and it’s taken off with us. We’re very happy.
Parting Pro: So, you said the first month, you got five death calls that you probably otherwise wouldn’t have gotten?
Susan Wally: Correct, they would have probably price shopped, and when we told them our general cremation prices, they would have probably said, “Okay, thank you very much.” And then called the next person until they got what they wanted to hear, which was a low cost.
Parting Pro: Got it. What do you think the impact of working with us has been?
Susan Wally: Well, our first year, we added about 30 to 32 calls for our funeral home, which we wouldn’t have done if we hadn’t had been a part of Parting Pro. That generated probably $35,000 worth of revenue.
Parting Pro: Got it, nice. So that’s an extra $35,000 worth of revenue, so that sounds like almost 10 times your ROI, maybe? Maybe a little less.
Susan Wally: Right.
Parting Pro: That’s a pretty good first year.
Susan Wally: Yeah. And I felt like Parting Pro was always transparent with their cost and always there to help us if we needed a tweak of a form or really anything that I would either text them or call them with – I just felt like it was always returned in a timely fashion.
Parting Pro: Oh, thank you. That was actually my next question, how was it working with us? Can you explain in the very beginning when you had no idea what was happening, how quickly you were able to get started? Maybe walk us through that process?
Susan Wally: Yeah, I hooked in with our advertising group that we use, and we just put it on our website. It did not take long at all. I would say the first week after we had it published, the funeral directors were talking with price shoppers and they would go over what we offer, and then if they sounded like they were going to hang up, then they would say, “We have another option,” and then they would go through what we offer online. It was just really easy to use. I was a little nervous at first, just because of the change. I didn’t really know how it was going to be received by our community, but it’s been great. We’ve got a lot of really good reviews from our online people, and it’s just been really good.
Parting Pro: Alright, and the reviews are helpful as well, right? Because now people who have good experiences can talk about it, and people who haven’t talked to you yet can see those reviews before calling you, and it kind of helps the process.
Susan Wally: Right.
Parting Pro: Now that you know what you know now, thinking about yourself maybe a year ago, or somebody in a situation like you were in a year ago that’s probably watching this video right now, interested in Parting Pro, but on the fence – what’s something that you would say to them to take action right now?
Susan Wally: Just try it. Give yourself a trial period to try it, and I’m sure you won’t regret it. It was a good addition to our full-service funeral home, that we could offer people another avenue – there’s a certain group that is looking for that, and we’re able to offer it now. It’s nice to have it in our back pocket.
Parting Pro: Awesome. Thank you for your time today, and maybe one more question – what are your goals for next year?
Susan Wally: Well, I’d like to double our online business, that would be great. Just to get it out there a little more, and hopefully word of mouth of the families that we serve online, they will tell their friends, and I just really think with the millennials and that group, they want convenience and they want easy, that don’t want to come into the funeral, they don’t want to meet with us, and it just fits that group perfectly. It’s just been a really good fit for us at Colonial.
Parting Pro: Awesome. Thanks for your time, I really appreciate it.
Susan Wally: You’re welcome.
Parting Pro: We’ll be in touch; we’ll probably see you fairly soon.
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