Client Spotlight: Symonds Madison Funeral Home

existing website online presence
With an existing website, a hosting agency and IT firm that had lost their trust due to constant issues frustration was at a boiling point for Joy and Dan at Symonds Madison Funeral Home. They had their sights set on a one-stop-shop partnership for creating a new online cremation service business, as well as improving their existing website.
They knew the importance of a solid online presence, one that is truly representative of the business behind it, but lacked a true partner to stand by them to think strategically and execute seamlessly, all while being just a phone call away, no matter the hour. The result of our collaborative work with Symonds Madison has led to a doubling of their business.

Joy had a vision for a modern and visually appealing web presence for both the existing business, Symonds Madison Funeral Home, based in Elgrin, IL, as well as a new business idea, the soon-to-be Fox Valley Cremation Services, but she lacked the deep technology knowledge or team to help her accomplish it.

The biggest new opportunity was to design and launch, through Autumn, the first-ever, online cremation service company, Fox Valley Cremation, powered by Symonds Madison. This is a completely innovative, digital way to search for and purchase cremation services. The team at Autumn developed unique branding and launched an ecommerce platform tied to their existing credit card company.

Once launched, Joy was surprised at how fast orders came in. Starting with one order a month to almost several a month from customers who said “I found you through a Google Search”.

visually appealing web presence for existing business

This success gave Symonds Madison confidence to work with Autumn to migrate all of their current business web needs to a new business-grade platform and build out a large site for their main website: Symonds Madison Funeral Home.

When all was said and done, we worked with Joy and Dan at Symonds Madison on two major engagements:
  1. The launch of a completely new website, Fox Valley Cremation Services.
  2. The revamping and redesign of the Symonds Madison Funeral Home website.

The scope of our work included brand development and refinement, complete web design, development of Google-friendly messaging and implementation without any significant headaches, pains or downtime.

Nathan and Joy continue to talk monthly about enhancements and ideas to grow their online marketing. Joy and the team at Symonds Madison know very well that Autumn Consulting is their partner through and through, and Nathan himself is always just a phone call, email or text away.

Meet the client: Joy and Dan Symonds of Symonds Madison Funeral Home

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Joy and Dan Symonds of Symonds Madison Funeral Home

Symonds Madison is a family-owned, second-generation funeral home in Elgin, Illinois. The team at Symonds Madison is dedicated to creating truly meaningful funerals that reflect the person being honored. As a military family, they are passionate about serving veterans and their families. They launched a volunteer network called Operation LOVE (Love Our Veterans Elgin) to connect volunteers with veterans in need. Their large collection of five star ratings on Google speak for themselves - their compassion with families in a time of great difficulty and need is what they truly excel at. A true leader in the Chicago metro area when it comes to funeral care, Symonds Madison was also recently featured in the Chicago Tribune.

What we admire so much about the Symonds family and the work that they do is their in-depth and deeply personal commitment to Elgin and the greater Fox Valley area. Raising their family in Elgin and running a second generation, family owned business is no small feat.

“The Symonds family is a genuine, values-first, salt-of-the-earth family with a great heart; we love working with people who are really helping others.”

- Nathan Misirian of Autumn Consulting

We also particularly admire the innovative approach that Symonds Madison takes. It’s not common for a family owned funeral home to be entrepreneurial and forward thinking, and we have so much admiration for Joy and the team’s drive to create Fox Valley Cremation Services, is a completely digital way to search for and purchase cremation services.

According to Nathan Misirian, founder of Autumn Consulting “Symonds Madison, like so many of our clients, is a leader in their field; they have the vision and they know exactly where they’d like to go, but they do not have internal capacity or expertise to take on the work of promoting themselves effectively in the online world. We at Autumn Consulting love working with clients like this, who are ready to learn and want to accelerate and succeed at adopting digital marketing to grow their business.”

The challenge: two new websites

The immediate challenge at hand, when Joy Symonds first met with Nathan at Autumn Consulting, was streamlining the Symonds Madison web presence and having a true one-stop-shop solution for all of the business’ web and IT needs.

But Symonds Madison isn’t about the status quo and sitting still, and the big, exciting opportunity was to launch an entirely new business, to be a completely new, innovative, and digital way to search for and purchase cremation services: Fox Valley Cremation Services.

Both projects had a strong vision accompanied by a strong heart and soul, led by the Symonds Family, but needed an equally strong and dependable partner to properly represent them in the online world and to speak Google’s language to get them the growth and traction needed to succeed.

The relationship: the key to our success

Nathan of Autumn Consulting and Joy of Symonds Madison first met at a presentation on Google that Nathan made before the South Elgin Economic Development (SEED) organization. Nathan was the headline speaker sponsored by the local business community in St Charles, IL. This particular session walked over 75 participants through strategic website changes in a business website to be more easily found in Google. Most importantly, a part of the presentation walked the audience through a member’s website, comparing what we see with the naked eye, with how Google sees it.

Looking for an expert on Google marketing to speak at your next event? We’re happy to help.

At this same time, Joy was very aware that Symonds Madison needed a website update, and she knew how important Google was. The idea of hiring a web designer that also understood Google was appealing. At this point, Symonds Madison had already created a Google Business page and were seeing results as prospects read their reviews as they researched funeral providers - they were believers in the importance of the web, Google reviews and an overall solid web presence as a key driver to growing their business.

After participating in the live event, Dan and Joy hosted Nathan at their funeral home, where they met several times in person. They also knew Nathan through the Northern Kane County Chamber of Commerce.

Through the first meetings, the Symonds saw that Nathan was both down to earth and knowledgeable. Their previous experiences with other agencies are that they never got a straight answer and there were always problems, with no one having ownership or dedication to their projects. They were also concerned about the cost of investment in marketing within an industry that tends to be risk-averse. Autumn overcame that challenge by agreeing to be the all-in-one technology provider caring for the hosting, email, and website and having a single person to hold accountable: Nathan himself.

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Symonds Madison funeral home in Elgrin, IL

Nathan and the team at Autumn were dedicated to not only the relationship with Symonds Madison, but also the motivation to meet the goals, get both websites up and running, done well, on a timeline, and within a budget. We love getting goals accomplished, and we’re not in the business of dragging things out just so that we can continue to have business. Sadly, in the marketing space, typically, an agency isn’t too motivated to get it done and delivered. This is what makes Autumn unique. We love relationships, and we believe what makes our relationships truly shine is our ability to get it done well, on a timeline and within budget -- nothing makes us more proud.

“We consider our work with Nathan a partnership. When one succeeds, we both succeed. We had to overcome some initial skepticism by my husband regarding the cost of new websites, but Nathan made him feel comfortable and confident about the investment.”

- Joy Symonds

Working together to meet goals

All in all, Autumn Consulting built two websites in collaboration with Joy Symonds. The Fox Valley Cremation Services website, followed closely by the Symonds Madison Funeral Home website.

Autumn Consulting was a true one-stop-shop for the entirety of both projects. We worked with Joy to develop a unique brand, a modern web design, we made photography web and Google friendly, and most importantly: we made the messaging Google friendly. Joy was wonderful at copy writing and providing the key concepts, and then we took them and Google-ified them, so that they played well with the world’s biggest and most important search engine as well.

Autumn completed each project in several months. We carefully communicated and set regularly scheduled calls to talk through the process, share updates and troubleshoot any concerns. Joy and Dan knew that outside of these regularly scheduled check ins, should anything arise, they could always contact Nathan.

“Nathan is more than a business partner, he is a friend. He is funny, approachable, and very easy to work with. He has a great positive attitude, so you never feel like you are bothering him to get something updated. He is also patient with the crazy schedule of a small family-owned business.”

- Joy Symonds

Autumn Consulting pulled off all the implementation of both projects without any pain, which is a huge deal worth highlighting: in previous projects that the Symonds worked on, there was often something that went wrong or needed to be fixed last minute.

We continue to check in monthly to celebrate successes and wins, and both Joy and Dan know that they always have Nathan’s ear (directly!) and can call or text him anytime.

The results: business has doubled

Since launching the two new sites with Autumn Consulting, Joy at Symonds Madison has seen great results in what really matters to any business: more leads and more business. Overall, the business has doubled - and, in the words of Joy, “I know an improved online presence was a key aspect of that growth”. Additionally, Joy says “We have also gained clients based on the quality of our website alone”. It’s no secret, how you present yourself in the online world matters, and with the partnership of Autumn Consulting and Nathan, Joy and the team at Symond Madison feel confident in their online presence.

“As a small business owner in the growth phase, it can be difficult to find the funds to invest in your digital presence. But once you reach that point, Autumn Consulting is the way to go. Instead of hiring a designer or someone to do paid digital ads, you can craft a website that organically performs on the number one search platform, Google. Nathan is a great combination - not only can he build an aesthetically pleasing website, but he also understands the back-end and analytics that will drive results. He really is two in one, and that is why working with him is so rewarding.”

- Joy Symonds

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