Care more

Charles 4 Comments

Posted by Vale

Seth Godin has been called ‘America’s greatest marketer’. Well they go in for superlatives don’t they? But his blog – Seth’s Blog – is full of interesting ideas and reflections about the way that businesses operate.

He recently blogged about caring more and what it might mean for a business:

Politicians are held in astonishingly low esteem. Congress in particular is setting record lows, but it’s an endemic problem. The reason? They consistently act as if they don’t care. They don’t care about their peers, certainly, and by their actions, apparently, they don’t care about us. Money first.

Many salespeople face a similar problem–perhaps because for years they’ve used a shallow version of caring as a marketing technique to boost their commissions. One report by the National Association of Realtors found that more than 90% of all homeowners are never again contacted by their real estate agent after the contracts for the home are signed. Why bother… there’s no money in it, just the possibility of complaints. Well, the reason is obvious–you’d come by with cookies and intros to the neighbors if you cared.

Economists tell us that the reason to care is that it increases customer retention, profitability and brand value. For me, though, that’s beside the point (and even counter to the real goal). Caring gives you a compass, a direction to head and most of all, a reason to do the work you do in the first place.

Care More.

Spot on! If we are looking for a sense of direction as the funeral world changes around us, thinking about how we can care more seems to me to be a really good place to start.

You can find the whole piece here.


  1. Charles

    Seems to me that a big symptom of authentic caring is – time. As with children. They know very well if your “quality time” with them is exactly 40 minutes between work and a game of squash…

    So celebrants who can give a family time, who will always say “I’m in no hurry here, take your time” in a family meeting; who don’t have too many funerals piled up and so can give sufficient time and emotional investment into this family, here and now; funeral directors who, busy though they are, never waver in their concentration on this family, here, now; crematoria who are less focused on making money for cash-strapped councils than providing a service to the community, so they don’t they run half-hour slots dovetailed through the working day; crem managers who give time and thought to how to make their resource more attractive and useful to the community –


    It’s a high standard. We may not reach it all the time, but if we don’t understand the time=care formula and try to work by it, then why not run for Congress, be an international financier, or run a “pay now die later” scheme?

  2. Charles

    I love this, and particularly the fact that it finishes with the idea that while caring may have good ‘side effects’ for the business it ultimately ought to be the raison d’etre of the business. With a funeral home, I don’t see how it can function well if it is not there because it cares. Several months after the funeral we still have two previous ‘clients’ who regularly drop in for a drink and a chat because they feel its ok to talk to us about how they are feeling whereas they don’t want to ‘burden’ their family. For me, being there for those people is what its all about.

  3. Charles

    Both so right – care =time – care is why we’re all in it.

    GM – caring crems? now there’s an oxymoron! Although I have to big up my local council crem – they are unusually and amazingly caring.Top marks to the team at Easthampstead Park Crematorium.

    Jenny, I still go to see an elderly lady who lost her partner and then her only daughter 2 years ago to cancer. She says ‘I can talk to you, you understand, all the rest of my family seem to think I should be ‘over it’ and I don’t want to burden them.’ Isn’t that a sad state for family/society ?

    Cruse are running a seminar for local businesses to try and get the message across that grief isn’t easily categorised into your 3 days compassionate leave for a close relative’s death. Maybe the Victorians had it right with the visible mourning signs? I’m not saying you should have a year off, just some understanding and TLC – there we are back to care again.

    I like the idea of the caring estate agent too….

  4. Charles

    While there was a lot wrong with the Victorian mourning period, there was a lot right with it as well. Not least, as you say, an acknowledgement that there is something wrong and that its not going to go away quickly, or to fit anyone’s agenda. While we are very pleased that we can continue to help people long after the funeral, it is very sad that so many people find it easier to talk to us than their own families. I think it comes down to the same old message…trying to make it ok to talk about death and bereavement.

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