The Dummies’ Guide To Embracing Funeral Trends (& Finding Success)July 6th, 2016
Green funerals, out-of-this-world ash scattering ceremonies, celebratory events that resemble weddings more than funerals… it’s easy to see that the shape of funerals is changing into something completely different than anything we’ve known before.
In fact, there are few words that we hear more in the funeral professional than “change.” The promise (or to some, the threat) of change comes not only from leaders in the funeral profession who are seeing a bright future ahead, but also from the families who are walking through our funeral home doors, asking for new services and products that many of us have never heard of before.
But most funeral professionals sit one way or the other on the fence of funeral trends… they either reject them outright and stick to the traditions that they have always known, or they embrace any and every funeral trend that their families ask for, scrabbling to try and please everyone. But the truth is, the best way to embrace trends and make them work for your families is to sit somewhere right in the middle – finding the perfect balance between trends that provide value to your families and those that make the most sense for your business. Today, we’re going to teach you how to do just that.
How To Know If A Trend Is Right For You
Each year, there are hundreds of different trends that pop up surrounding funerals and memorial services. If your funeral home embraced all of them, your whole business would change completely… but that’s not what you want. You need to find a way to mix the old with the new – keeping your current services that best help your families, while trading in the ones that don’t for new and better trends. So how do you know which ones to take with you into the future of funerals? Take a close look at each funeral trend that comes your way and ask yourself these two questions:
1. Will the trend help you better serve your families?
At the core of it all, your role as a funeral professional is to do whatever you think will best help your families during their grief and healing. And there is no one who can made a better decision about what products and services will do that than you. After all, there is a reason that families come to you for help and guidance – you’re the funeral expert. So use your expertise to evaluate new trends that emerge in the funeral profession, and think critically about whether or not they would help the families walking through your doors.
By taking the time to evaluate up front, you may even find that certain funeral trends families are requesting will take them away from the healing process… which is exactly the opposite of what you want as their funeral director. Therefore, it may not be in your best interest to take on every trend request. It’s up to you to decide which ones are worthy of your families.
2. Does the trend align with your purpose?
Once you have determined whether or not your families will benefit from a new service or product, the trend still needs to get through another gate – does the trend aligns with your purpose? As we mention in our post on the Guiding Principles of Funeral Service, “Your purpose should act as the guiding light that you are constantly shifting your focus towards. It defines the types of products your funeral home will sell, the kinds of services that you offer your families, and even the type of business you will become.”
For example, if your purpose is to help families find peace and healing during a time of grief, you should measure every trend that comes your way against this purpose. Will the trend help you reach your purpose? Will it get you there faster or take you away from it? After all, if you’re not doing work that gets you closer to your purpose, you’re just going in circles.
How To Track The Success of Each Trend You Try
Once you have asked yourself the questions above and decided that there is a new funeral trend out there that will better serve your families and your business, it’s time to begin offering the trend to your families and measuring its success. These questions will help you keep a pulse on the new products and services you bring into your funeral home:
1. Has the trend advanced or replaced a previous product or service?
We all know that funeral professionals have far too little time in a day to begin offering every service under the sun to their families. If you did, not only would you be doing yourself an injustice, but you would also be selling your families short by not giving them the full attention and service that they deserve. Therefore, you should constantly be evaluating the products and services that you are offering to families to see which ones families are responding to, and if there are any opportunities to serve multiple purposes with one product.
For example, Life Tributes is a simple to use software program built for funeral homes that allow you to create Hollywood-style memorial videos, custom print keepsakes, and funeral webcasting videos – all from one program that even the most busy, tech-challenged funeral directors will love. Want to see for yourself just how much time you can save by using Life Tributes? Click here for a free 30 day trial.
2. Is the trend bringing in more families?
Last but not least, the true test of whether or not a funeral trend has actually become a funeral success is to measure if it’s being embraced and loved by your families! Be sure to promote new trends and services that you are offering on your funeral home website, so that families searching for local funeral offerings will be able to learn about your options. (After all, your website is your single best advertising platform).
As families begin coming in and requesting these new trends, inquire about what prompted them to choose the service or product, and why they felt it would best represent their loved one. Over time, you will be able to spot patterns among the services that your community is choosing, and it will be easier to spot new trends that will also appeal to them.
Want to learn more about how your website can help you market new trends and bring new families into your funeral home? Click here to speak to one of our success experts today!
What trends are you most interested in embracing at your funeral home? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!