6 Strategies to Keep Families Coming Back After the Funeral Service for Generations

What’s better than serving a family during their time of need?

To us, that answer is simple: serving a family for a lifetime.

That means retaining them over months, years and decades.

But how can your funeral home continue to serve families for generations, especially in the age of choices, and low customer loyalty?

Here are a few tried and tested strategies:


1. Have a mission to keep them involved


Over the years, we’ve found that  funeral homes who are dedicated to a greater mission always seem to be the most successful. These are the funeral homes who really stand out in their community. These are the most trusted funeral homes because they are genuinely passionate about what they do. It’s so obvious that these businesses aren’t just in it for the bottom line – and that’s why families choose them time and time again, generation over generation.

Who to learn from:  Tom’s Shoes might be one of the most successful shoe companies out there because of the big “why” behind their business. Their program, “One for One,” gives a pair of new shoes to those in need every time a pair of their shoes are purchased. Through this program, Toms has given more than 60 million pairs of shoes to children in need…Talk about inspiring!

To us, their mission has created a loyalty with their customers that you just don’t find these days.

2. Create a subscription service that makes families feel like they are a part of your family

Once the service is over, it’s rare for families to stick around and engage with your funeral home… unless you have a useful channel for them to do so. A lot of funeral homes are using eAftercare tools like 365 Days of Email Affirmations to keep their families close for up to a year after the service.

This not only keeps your funeral home top of mind for your families, but it offers them another level of service, letting them know how much you support them during their journey of grief. The best part about these affirmations is that some website platforms, such as f1Connect, offer them as a part of package, so it’s completely done-for-you as a funeral director.

Who to learn from: Posey Funeral Directors does a great job of presenting their 365 days of email affirmations, and even makes it easy for them to share these affirmations with a friend who might need them.

3. Educate your families in an engaging way

Educating families in an engaging way, given the nature of the services you offer, might feel tough. But, it’s important to hone in on the ways that your families might feel inclined to engage with you once they’ve moved through the beginning stages of their journey of grief.

What questions might they ask – or are they already asking? What topics could you stand out as a leader in? What true value could you offer them? These are the topics that you’d ideally use to educate families through articles, workshops, blogs and on your social channels.

Who to learn from: Someone who does a really great job at educating their customers in an engaging way is life coach Susi Kaufer. She uses her blog and other social channels to answer the questions she KNOWS her potential clients are asking. Her topics are super specific and niche, which truly allows her to speak to her ideal audience, offering them undeniable value. By offering this value to her niche audience, she stands out as a clear leader in the coaching industry, which is why she is regularly featured on international media for her offerings.


4. Host events that make your funeral home more than just a place to go when people pass away

With the way the profession is changing, a lot of funeral homes are creating stunning spaces that they’re simply not taking advantage of enough. Some of these funeral homes offer their spaces for catered events such as weddings and celebrations. But what we’ve found across the board is that these spaces are not being utilized nearly enough as they could be.


With that in mind, what if you could make your funeral home or cemetery a gathering of place for your community? What kinds of community events could you invite your community and your families to that are unique to you? What if you found new and exciting ways to keep your families engaged with events that take you out of the box of only funerals, death and dying?

Who to learn from: One cemetery that is rocking idea with their local community (and beyond) is Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Hollywood’s most notable cemetery. According to Thrillist’s article HOW A CEMETERY BECAME LA’S FAVORITE MOVIE THEATER, their events are quite the place to be:

“Surrounded by the gravestones of Hollywood legends, a sold-out crowd of 4,000 people gather with picnics and booze in tow to watch their favorite movies on weekend nights. With elaborate movie-themed photo booths, notable DJs and dance parties, and occasional all-night marathons, these Cinespia screenings offer a giant living room for all of LA.”

Sure, you might not live in Hollywood. But know that it IS possible to create a community in your space that can be fun and inspiring.



5. Offer a space to tell a story of a life lived

People love stories. They have since the beginning of humanity. A big part of your job as a funeral director is to tell the story of the deceased loved one through a memorable funeral service. And, according to grief therapists, one of the best ways to help heal from grief is to recount the story of the loved one.

What if you centered your funeral arrangement meeting around the story of the life lived, rather than just the logistics of everything? According to some of the top leaders in the funeral profession, this is the direction they see the industry moving – towards the story of the life lived.

Who to learn from:  Pray Funeral Home does a great job sitting their families down to truly tell a story. Joe Pray, owner of Pray Funeral Home, started focusing on the story of the loved one after planning a funeral for one of his family members. Their family found themselves sitting around at the hospice telling stories and sharing photos. He realized what an organic, healing process this was, and wanted to extend it to the families he serves.

Now, Joe Pray’s idea has turned into a slew of funeral personalization offerings that truly represents the life lived. And families know that if they want that level of service, Joe’s funeral home is the place to share their story.


6. Offer an organic way for families to share memories for generations to come

One of the easiest ways to offer your families value for generations and generations is by taking advantage of your funeral home’s social memorial websites. A  social memorial website is the perfect space for your friends, family and community to share memories, photos, condolences in honor of the loved one. It’s one safe, ongoing space for them that’s so much more valuable than a Facebook wall.


Who to learn from: Yorktown Funeral Home does a great job encouraging their client families to take part of the remembrance of their loved one online and offline. Their social memorial websites get lots of activity and engagement, which becomes a timeless treasure for the family for years to come.

This social memorial website generated dozens of comments amongst the loved one’s family and community.


Putting these strategies to use

If your funeral home is looking for a space to encompass all the offerings that keep your families returning to your funeral home for generations, look no further than your funeral home website. Your funeral home website has the potential to be the foundation of everything you do. A place your families can find you whenever they need you, without even picking up the phone.

Want to make sure your funeral home website platform is comprehensive enough to support you and your families? Talk to one of our Funeral Success Specialists today!


How does your funeral home keep families engaged months and years after you serve them? Tell us in the comments below!


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