Bringing Great Ideas to Funeral Service: Meet CRäKN’s COO, John Sentz

Posted October 17, 2018

6 min read

“It’s an exciting time to be a part of CRäKN,” says John Sentz, CRäKN’s Chief Operating Officer, who joined the team earlier this year.

“We’ve doubled in size, we’re bringing new features to market, and our revenue has grown over 300 percent. Most importantly, our customers report extreme satisfaction with the product. We’ve got a great team bringing great ideas to funeral service,” he adds.

John brings more than two decades of experience in funeral service to the CRäKN team, with time at Batesville Casket Company and Service Corporation International.

Prior to his experience at those two companies, he was in the Army and in the Peace Corps, among other notable roles.

Keep reading our in-depth Q&A with John to get a glimpse at what his role involves, what he does to be more productive, and what he’s learned since joining the CRäKN team.

Q: What’s your role with CRäKN?

My formal title is Chief Operating Officer. My practical role is to move our company forward by helping funeral professionals be more productive and accomplish tasks more efficiently. It’s a challenge for the profession as deaths continue to rise, tasks continue to increase, and fewer people are entering the field.

Funeral directors are asked to spend quality time building relationships with client families. This is a lot of work for anyone to accomplish. That’s why the CRäKN team creates business productivity and efficiency tools that save time so funeral directors can spend more time with their client families.

Q: What does your role involve?

Most of the people who work at CRäKN have many years, some have decades, of funeral experience. They are a talented, committed and experienced group of people who are excited to bring new technologies to funeral professionals.

My job is to help identify relevant tools and get them into the hands of funeral directors quickly. The name of our company is a perfect illustration: a Kraken is a mythical Nordic sea monster with many arms that reflects how funeral directors could use extra “arms” to handle all of their daily tasks. Well, my job is to be one of those extra arms to the people who work at CRäKN.

Q: What was your background or previous work experience before joining the CRäKN team?

I’ve been fortunate to have worked the past twenty years with some great teams at Batesville Casket Company and Service Corporation International. Prior to that I spent many years overseas in the Army, the Peace Corps and with groups that respond to civil and natural disasters.

Q: When you were 10, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I don’t think I thought a lot about the future. But I do remember a teenage friend, who was hired to paint the bleachers of our baseball diamond. He said he was getting paid $120 for the full week of work. I remember thinking that was so much money and how good life would be if I could just earn $120. So, by that measure, I guess I wanted to be an under-paid painter.

Q: Are you a night owl or early bird?

The most productive part of my day is in the morning. I usually wake up very early and sprint towards mid-day. Other times I may find myself working on a project or a problem that is so engaging, it will carry me to the wee hours of the night.

Q: What are some of the habits you’ve adopted or you are using right now that help you save time?

I turn off my phone at certain times of the day so I can give my full attention to a task. I set my alarm to prompt me to stop doing one thing and start doing another. I put notes and message on my phone instead of slips of paper. I’ve gotten good at distinguishing between what’s the important and what’s urgent.

I try to not engage in gossip or negative chatter, which is such a time waster. Last, I got comfortable with video conferencing, which saves me a tremendous amount of time.

Q: Do you have any advice for other teams that are looking to improve their customer experience?

I attended a training about 20-years ago at which one of the key takeaways was the concept of “odds-are.”

This concept means that the odds are 2:1 I’m looking at a situation through my own perspective and not someone else’s. The key is: if I view a problem through my perspective it will drive one form of response.

If I view it through your perspective, it will drive another. Putting that concept into practice really helped me improve my communication with customers. My advice: it’s not about you–it’s about the customer.

Q: What is something you’ve learned since joining CRäKN?

I’m a technophile and a technophobe. I like the benefits of technology but shy away from learning it. The CRäKN team knows many people share this attitude.

That’s why they created a tool that is so easy-to-use. I became an expert because I can use: 1) a whiteboard; 2) a smartphone; and 3) a computer. That’s it. That’s how intuitive it is.

Q: What is something that might surprise others to learn about you?

I get my entertainment from podcasts and the internet. I watch television for news and sports. I try to read as much as I watch. I’ve never gotten into e-books. I have three different library cards – two from Texas and one from Ohio.

Q: What are you most looking forward to in the coming months at CräKN?

We’re committed to making CRäKN the #1 business management tool in funeral service. In the next few months, you’ll see CRäKN roll-out productivity and efficiency features that are unparalleled in funeral service.

Q: If people would like to learn more about CRäKN, where should they start?

You can learn more about CRäKN at or contact me directly at or reach out to me through my LinkedIn account at Let’s get CRäKN!

Funeral Home Technology that Lets You Do More…With Less

CRäKN gives you all the tools to manage your funeral home. It even integrates with your accounting system, call answering service, website, and more—helping you to save hours on each and every case.

Spend less time on admin and day-to-day operations, and spend more time with families. See how CRäKN can helps you be more productive and efficient each day: request a demo today.

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