4 Funeral Pros Share Their Essential Lessons On Working With Families

Nothing speaks wisdom like hard earned lessons learned.

And these 4 funeral professionals have some wisdom to share on one of the biggest topics right now… creating an unforgettable family (or customer) experience.

Why waste any time?

Let’s dive straight into the lessons from some of our favorite funeral professionals out there:


Lesson #1: Ask lots of questions to understand your families’ needs… then listen deeply to the answers

You might think that client families don’t want to talk much because of their grief and sadness. You might think they’re not interested in what you have to offer and just want to get the service over with. You might feel shy around asking deep questions that go beyond the normal “customer service” experience. 

And if you feel this sort of way about any of the above situations, we completely understand why. The way business has worked for so long has been direct, sales focused and customer centric. 

However now, sales IS service. Customers ARE friends and family. Deep questions ARE great customer service. It’s time to transcend the confines of the old client family journey, and treat every family like they are friends.

One business that is a great example of this is Eterneva. They begin every journey with their customers asking tons of questions about their loved one. And they stay up to date with them through every step of the journey.

Co-Founder of Eterneva, Adelle Archer, explained her process with us:

“When someone calls us, we don’t talk about diamonds. We just sit them down and ask them to tell us about their loved one. What made them special? You wouldn’t decide to make a diamond for just anyone.”

Now, Eterneva is a huge success in the funeral profession and their secret sauce is certainly this level of care and communication. Take this example below, where you see the closeness and frequency of communication they maintain with their client families, including them in every step of the service.


Lesson #2: Never assume a direct cremation family doesn’t want to create a meaningful experience

Industry expert Walker Posey, Posey Funeral Directors, believes that direct cremation is a result of lack of proper education on their options (among other reasons that he explains here). 

His biggest piece of wisdom that hit us hard is this:

“Today, many funeral directors simply don’t have the courage or skill to stop being an order taker and become the true advisor that client families actually expect to deal with. When a family comes in and sits down across from an order taker, they have no choice but to accept the inadequate options that are presented. The idea of associating cremation with limited or no service is very under-serving to the families who call on us and this habit must be stopped.”

Read More: Walker Posey Shares The REAL Reason Families Choose Direct Cremation


Lesson #3: Have affordable, easy personalization options available for families 

Now that we understand a direct cremation family isn’t necessarily what we think it is, let’s talk about offerings. What kind of options can you provide families with who choose direct cremation?

According to funeral director Joe Pray of Pray Funeral Home, props are a great start:

“We recommend investing in minimal props and elements that could work for most creative personalized services you plan. In many cases, the family will gladly pay the cost of the creative things that you suggest for the service. In some cases, the cost may be paid by the funeral home. Many props you develop for a creative service can be re-used for other services. The benefit will be well worth the expense in the eyes of the family and their guests.”

Pray Funeral Home is known in their community for holding extraordinary services with high levels of personalization and tons of meaning for families. This level of service translates into plenty of opportunities for growth, especially when it comes to their client families’ raving reviews. So next time you feel deflated by a direct cremation family, grab your props and educate families on their options!

Read More: 6 Service-Oriented Alternatives To Direct Cremation

Pray Funeral Home offered client families a chance to play “one last pool game” in honor of their loved one.



Lesson #4: Cooperate with local businesses rather than compete with them

It might seem counterintuitive to collaborate with businesses that do similar things as you. But think about it from the client families’ perspective. What would provide them the utmost care and support? A continuum of support from their community that is woven with care, or many separate services they have to seek out on their own to find support? We think the latter sounds much more difficult!

Take it from Felicity Warner,  the founder of Soul Midwives and the Soul Midwives School, who loved collaborating with funeral homes:

“Increasingly, we are working with funeral directors. One of the reasons is that people are very keen to see a line of continuous care for their loved ones… right through to the funeral and beyond.

Recently I worked with a family who were very keen to keep their father at home for three days, allowing him to “rest” with the family around him. The funeral director was fantastic; we worked with him very closely. He helped in every way that he could, popping in and keeping a very close eye and suggesting exactly the right moment for the body to be removed and with great delicacy and tenderness.”

Read More: We Interviewed a Soul Midwife to Discuss the Mind, Body & Soul Journey of Death


Put it all together, and what do you get?

There seems to be a common denominator between all of these funeral pros. Can you sense it? What is it that creates a successful client family journey? We’d love to hear the nuggets you pulled from this, and the lessons you learned! 

Share them with us in the comments below 🙂


Pssst…Need a website that offers a foundation of service?

Try the funeral profession’s #1 all-in-one website platform, f1Connect. If you’re interested in learning more about the f1Connect website platform, reach out to one of our Funeral Success Specialists today!


Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments.

  1. funeralOne Blog » Blog Archive 4 Funeral Pros Share Their Essential Lessons On Working With Families – Funeral News Hubb

    […] Source link […]