June 2018 marked the fifth edition of the AE Hackathon, which challenges customers and prospects to come up with an innovative idea and a minimum viable product within 36 hours. This series puts each participating team in the spotlight.
Normal yet anything but pleasant
Funerals are an unusual market when it comes to digital transformation. However, digitisation can make the grieving process significantly less difficult. Every day, 300 people in Belgium are declared deceased. Even in cases where preparations have been made in advance, families still have to make the necessary administrative arrangements. Evidently, that doesn’t make the grieving processing any easier. Enter Team Farvel who set out to reduce the administrative burden to a minimum, allowing relatives to properly say their goodbyes and fully focus on their grieving process.
Checklist for an optimal customer journey
During the hackathon, the team explored the customer journeyfamily members go through when a loved one passes. Determined to make the grieving process easier for them, Team Farvel set out to create a simple digital platform in collaboration with FCR media. Guiding people through all funeral preparations alone or together with family and close friends, the platform makes smart suggestions based on location, trends and personal input
thanks to the extensive dataset FCR media made available. What’s more, a chatbot lowers the threshold for end users to request information considerably. In addition, relatives are provided with a checklist for all arrangements that need to be made. In this way, their burden is significantly reduced and the grieving process can take precedence.
Hackathon with a B2B focus
Next to catering to end users, Team Farvel also considered the companies involved in the grieving process. For example, Farvel’s platform enables SMEs active in the funeral sector to offer their services and distinguish themselves from their competitors by appearing more prominently in suggestion lists once they’ve entered their information. At the same time, they are also given access to a dashboard that contains data about users who are interested in their services. Companies who don’t necessarily specialise in the funeral sector but can nonetheless play an important role in a person’s final farewell (caterers, location vendors, florists, ...) can make use of the platform as well.
A commercial and socially relevant innovation
The Hackathon challenged Team Farvel to pull out all the stops. On the one hand, they had to closely monitor the scope while on the other hand the team had to be flexible enough to deliver a valuable final product. Moreover, they had to take the needs of both relatives and commercial players into account. The outcome? A strong business case that offers an elaborate customer journey which not only makes arranging a funeral easier but can also serve as a roadmap to break the taboo around death, enabling relatives to deal with their loved one’s passing more consciously and better prepared.
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