Podcast No. 30 in English
Hello everyone, today is July 7st, 2021.
This is your host, Yuusuke Wada, probably the only funeral business podcaster in Japan and also a death industry consultant.
I am also the Researcher of the Reform of Death and I prepare for the End of Life Journey.
Podcast No. 30 of YEYSHONAN, a weekly podcast in English.
Last week, I talked about the Deep Dive event held at FCCJ, the foreign correspondents club of Japan.
Today, I wish to update you on the funeral business fair that was held 2 weeks ago (a bit late) and the AI in the death industry.
Also, just 3 days ago, two of my 2 terabyte hard drives crashed simultaneously.
I had data dispersed for risk hedging but no luck.
I’ve been trying to recover for the past 3 days and losing the battle.
As I mentioned in the podcast released on June 23rd, it was a good idea to pre-register.
As of this date, there are no official number of people that attended.
I was waiting for that number to show up but not this year.
I posted here in Japanese about this event already.
Since the event is only held for 2 days, it’s less of a burden for the exhibitors.
I heard many people say that a 3 day event is a bit too tiring since the industry never stops.
All of the major system integration companies have decided not to exhibit so the place was open. Many after service companies still have not realized that they have to clearly market to the funeral directors and not to the direct end users. It seems that they have lost track of who the customers are, meaning that in order to sell your product, you need to make the product attractive to the sales and not just the end customers.
Virtual systems are not here to stay yet. It’s still premature.
We need more companies pitching in using things such as QR code easy authentication for the online systems.
What funeral homes need to do are self-branding enhancements.
It’s not just showing glittering images but more homely and respectable actions are needed. From my point of view, many lack these.
The event itself, there was nothing really new.
There were no new innovations or new methods of funeral products.
It was more like a reunion of finding who is still around.
But companies also need to understand that they too need to collaborate with other exhibitors. I matched up several companies.
We have to realize that funeral homes need to market using a different method.
People in the death industry have to use not just brochures and pamphlets and YouTube.
Actually, not too many funeral parlors use YouTube for marketing.
Podcasts have been around for almost 20 years since the first iPod appeared on October 23rd, 2001. Yes, that was 20 years ago in 3 months and 2 weeks from today.
Due to the boom of ClubHouse, talk shows have been given a second though.
But the problems of ClubHouse and many radio shows are that you need to listen when it’s broadcasting and there’s no archive.
Podcast is a simple method for people to catch up on their backlog.
Funeral business is dying due to shrinking services.
Undertakers need to realize why such rituals are needed and not just blindly force customers to make their purchases.
Explanation is necessary for all sales.
They need to use a special landing page for marketing on the internet.
Keeping up with the clients is necessary but who wants to hear from a mortician?
Teach them tricks of keeping funeral costs down and benefits of using different lawyers specializing for their purposes.
What’s needed is an artificial intelligence that’ll guide people what to do before and after the funeral. Surely, you can ask your funeral parlor but when needed, you just want to look up on the web that’ll solve your problem at that time.
You might not be able to call your local undertaker but you might be able to search the web and guide you to which lawyers and tax accountants that are needed to solve your issues.
Artificial intelligence can solve many issues using chatbots but there are none in the funeral industry. I have talked to several major chatbot deploying companies and all have said that it’s very hard due to lack of knowledge on their part and it’s too niche.
These should be provided by the local municipalities to guide citizens what to do.
The major issue is that there are small differences in procedures in every municipality and just can’t make one and deploy to all.
This is why it’s important to keep telling them you are around when needed.
Thank you very much for listening to my podcast and please subscribe.
Book on me can be bought from Amazon called “死神と呼ばれた男” meaning “The Man Called the Reaper”, which will be published in English by September as well.
This was your host, Yuusuke Wada, probably the only funeral business podcaster in Japan.