6 Tell-Tale Signs It’s Time To Amp Up Your Funeral PersonalizationJuly 15th, 2014
When’s the last time you took a closer look at your funeral home’s personalization efforts? The truth is, most of us don’t. Instead, we offer the same type of “personalized funeral” we’ve been offering for years.
And unfortunately, according to dozens of studies, surveys and articles, what we’re offering isn’t what families are looking for.
So how can you tell if your funeral home needs to amp up your personalized services? Here are 6 warning signs to help you find out!
Sign #1: Your personalization is only being driven by families.
15 years ago, a group of funeral service experts estimated that only 5 percent of funerals were personalized, and only 1 percent of those personalized were driven by the funeral directors. There are obviously more funerals being personalized today (although it’s hard to find hard numbers on the exact percentage), but that doesn’t necessarily mean that more funeral directors are driving the personalization.
Who is driving the personalization at your funeral home? You, or your families? As a funeral professional, you should be your families’ number one resource for brainstorming, planning and executing unique ways to celebrate their loved ones. Of course, this involves participation from the family, but you are the one who they should count on to help them take their ideas even further. Your value as a funeral professional depends on it.
Sign #2: Or even worse, your personalization is only being driven by you.
While it’s your responsibility to make sure every life is celebrated in a unique and personalized way at your funeral home, in order for it to be meaningful for the family, they’re going to have to take part in your funeral personalization efforts, too. A successful personalized funeral will involve your families in many ways – you’ll need to ask questions, listen to stories of the loved one, request pictures and items important to the loved one, and get feedback from families. Without this involvement, families won’t see meaning in all of your efforts. And in a profession where you’re spread thin, you want all of your efforts to count.
Sign #3: All of your services are personalized in similar ways.
If you boil it all down, a personalized service is essentially a service that’s tailored to the life lived. But for some reason, when it comes to doing this, we’ve become lazy as funeral professionals. Most funeral homes will tell you they offer “personalized services”, but really they only offer personalized music, flowers and maybe even a tribute video offering. Music, videos and flowers are a great start to your funeral personalization efforts (in fact, most families now expect them), but a truly meaningful service is one that authentically reflects the life lived.
This involves finding out how each life is unique. And even if you think families could care less or you don’t think you have the time, this will be the factor that will separate you from your competition now and down the road. This personalized attention will not only show that you care, but it will also mean a lot to the families you serve.
Sign #4: You believe most of your families prefer something more “traditional.”
There hasn’t been one convention that I’ve been to where a funeral director told me that “their community just wants to keep it traditional”. If you’re one of these funeral directors, I’m here to tell you that you are limiting your ability to serve families with this mindset.
If you don’t believe me, let’s take a look at the statistics. One survey that I found, conducted by US Funerals, stated that 71 percent of consumers specifically said they don’t want a traditional funeral. Sure, there’s still that 21 percent that isn’t accounted for. And it could mean that they want something more traditional. But what if this group of people simply didn’t know that they could personalize their funeral to begin with? And that, ladies and gentleman, brings me to my next point.
Sign #5: Your families don’t know you offer personalized services.
In a survey we conducted in 2013, we asked more than 500 people living in the U.S. if they’ve ever been to a personalized funeral. The results? 53 percent of participants said they had never attended a personalized service. This means that potentially half of our population doesn’t even know what a personalized funeral is. Without being educated on their options, how can they choose to personalize?
One of our biggest hurdles as a profession is educating our consumers on their options, and it’s time we did something about it. Spread the word about your personalized services throughout your community by creating brochures, a video showing all of the options, producing content about them, mentioning them on your funeral home’s website (use this article to help you), or talking about them on your social media channels. You’ll be surprised by how many people want to learn more if they know their options.
Sign #6: You’re not using a personalization software
One of the biggest excuses I get for lack of funeral personalization is time. I know that as a funeral director, you’ve got a lot on your plate. But that doesn’t have to stop you from offering meaningful personalized services at your firm. By using the right personalization software, offering personalization won’t have to take up all of your time. In fact, some personalization softwares make it so easy that you can create a tribute video or guest book in a matter of minutes. That means you’ll have more time to work with your families to find out how else you can help them create a service that meaningfully reflects their loved one.
Why you need to amp up your funeral personalization
If you’re guilty of any of the warning signs above, it’s time to take your personalized services to the next level. Creating services for your families that are unique and memorable isn’t just essential for your business, it’s important for your families, too. A personalized service allows your families to authentically reflect their loved one. It allows them to look back on the memories they shared. It helps spark those healing conversations between your families and their funeral guests. But most of all, a personalized service helps your families start their path on their journey of healing. After all, isn’t that what we’re here to do?
Get a handle on your personalized services today
Want to amp up your funeral home’s personalization with Hollywood-quality tribute videos, print memorabilia and webcasting? Then get a 30-day free trial of funeralOne’s all-in-one personalization software, Life Tributes. Click here to get your free trial, or give us a call at 800-798-2575, ext. 5 today!
How has your funeral home been able to amp up your personalized services? Tell us in the comments below!