Tyrone Warden is the owner and funeral director of Funerals by T.S Warden. He's also owner and funeral director of cremation brand Just Cremation. I sat down with Tyrone to talk about how his families have started paying him online without talking to him first - and how amazing it is. Watch or read our conversation below.
Tyrone: I’m Tyrone Warden. Funerals by TS Warden. We also have Just Cremation. We started with you all late July, and everything has been going very well. Just Cremation – we hit the ground running and have been receiving calls, and so we’re doing well with the system. We love the system. We’re doing well.
Parting Pro: Great. Would you might telling me about – when you say you love it, what are some of your favorite features that your staff uses the most?
Tyrone: Starting with the Shoppers and being able to forward the forms to the families – one thing that’s really freaking us out as we’re trying to get adjusted to it, we’ll actually get a payment from the family before we actually get a call. That is really freakish. It’s not the usual course of things. But nevertheless, we can go ahead and touch base with the family, and we've been paid, we've been compensated, and we'll go ahead and touch base with he family and we'll go from there.
Parting Pro: Since you mentioned it, what has been the family response to these options available now online?
Tyrone: They really like it - the freedom of being able to do things on their own. What we’re finding is that they’ll find us online, but they’re not really computer literate. I don’t know if it’s someone helping them either the kids or the grandchildren or what have you, but when it comes to filling out the forms and things of that nature, sometimes that can be a little troublesome for them. But we’ll just allow them to come into the office if they really need help. But being able to send the forms to them, and just having that ease and comfort of being able to do it in their own environment, I believe that’s very comfortable. It’s very user friendly to them.
Parting Pro: Wonderful. Stepping back for a moment, how did you discover Parting Pro?
Tyrone: I saw an ad on Facebook. I looked at the video, thought it was interesting, and called in. I talked to one of the guys, I can’t remember who I talked to at first. Then from there, I was sold. It’s like I said, it took us a few months because we were working on our Just Cremation side, trying to get the renovations and all that stuff done. So we got everything going, everything looked very great, very great.
Parting Pro: I'm curious, what would you say to a business that is considering something like Parting Pro, but wants to keep a little bit of a more traditional style to their business?
Tyrone: Well, the traditional style has its place. But it’s 2018. Every time a year rolls around, it always goes forward, we’re not going backwards. We have to continue to adjust and do things, and as the time presents - we’re dealing with a different generation of people doing things differently. And just like I said – what I’ve noticed is that, I would have thought that we would have had a lot of younger folks gravitating to this new method of doing business, but I have had older folks utilize it. I don’t know if they’re getting help from their kids or grand children or what have you, but they’re all finding us online. I was making a traditional arrangement maybe a couple months ago, and I was shocked to find out that one of the family members was calling a family member that was sitting in my office at the time, and she was telling them that "You all have planned the service on this date... You're going to do the viewing on this date." And they say “Well how do you know that?” And she said, “I saw it online.” And she was 85.
Parting Pro: Wow.
Tyrone: Yeah. So you just really never know.
Parting Pro: I think that’s so true. And there’s this misconception I think, that older people don’t use technology or are resistant to technology, and I would actually argue that a lot of these folks in that generation maybe have the time to be on Facebook more, maybe they have the time to look at things online a little more, and a lot of them honestly are home-bound or at least spend a lot of time at home, so online is their window into the world, in a lot of ways. That includes into your business. Right?
Tyrone: Right, right. Looking at the Google Adwords, you see the amount of people that are actually looking at you online. It really lets you know, “Hey, you have another segment of business at stake. If you’re not advertising to them properly, or you don’t have an approach like Parting Pro like I did, and you’re missing a whole demographic that could be instrumental to your business.”
Parting Pro: Absolutely. And I think to that point, you mentioned earlier that you’re still adjusting to receiving payment so quickly, that it’s almost out of order for you.
Tyrone: Oh yeah, you should never have a problem with receiving money! But to receive it before you receive a call, that’s the funny part. Whenever I receive a payment I'm like "Did I talk to Mr. Jones?" That’s the part that we’re trying to get adjusted to. But we never turn away any payments!
Parting Pro: That sounds like a good adjustment to have to make.
Tyrone: Exactly, exactly, most definitely.
Parting Pro: How often would you say that families are utilizing the online check out?
Tyrone: With Just Cremation – this week, here in September – we went through July and then August, we just received checks for the first time this week. Everything else had been through the (Parting Pro) portal.
Parting Pro: Wow.
Tyrone: Well, let me say this – the one other payment that we received was by way of a credit card – but everything else has been through the forms. So I don’t know, maybe 12 to 15 cases? Two of those were outside. One gentleman said that he was just not computer literate at all, and he said someone told him about us. That’s how he made the call. Then the other folks helped him through it.
Parting Pro: Wow, but the rest of the time, it was completely just a process that families could just walk through? Streamlined, submit their payment, and that’s it, right?
Tyrone: Right. Just like I said, the fact that people choose to go through the system that Parting Pro has provided, and to select payment. They selected this on their own and actually submit their payment to someone that they don’t know, that’s amazing to me.
Parting Pro: I think part of that is they feel like they haven’t been in front of a sales pitch. So no matter how good your presentation is, families still know, “Hey, they’re trying to sell me something.” But with Parting Pro, you put your merchandise online, the families make their selections, and they spend the money on the things that they want to spend it on – right?
Tyrone: Very soft sell. Very soft sell.
Parting Pro: That’s awesome. Well, that’s really all that I have to ask for you today. Thank you.
Tyrone: Thank you!
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