5 Principles to Embrace For a Successful COVID-19 Recovery at your Funeral Home

Between talks of “how much longer?” and “what’s next?” is the idea of a post-pandemic normal. 

What that normal will look like, is being created today, here and now…And it all starts with you.

That’s right, YOU are creating a new normal for the funeral profession through the messages you share, services you provide and the experiences you’re delivering to families. 

And all of that? It’s marketing. Marketing is everything you do. Not sold on the idea? Give this a quick read.

Here are 5 essentials of funeral marketing to embrace in our “post-pandemic, new normal:” 

 

1 — BE HELPFUL

2 — CREATE A SENSE OF COMMUNITY

3 — EMBRACE BOREDOM

4 — FOCUS ON LOCAL

5 — BE GENEROUS

 

BE HELPFUL

Think about it: people are already lost and stressed out because of the global pandemic that put our lives in limbo. Then, imagine layering on the loss of a loved one; it’s a lot to digest.

Not only are they facing the grief of loss, but all of their preconceived notions on how to go about planning a funeral are tossed out the window thanks to COVID-19.  Yes, many states can now have gatherings (to an extent), but it still leaves families in a predicament…Is this too soon? Is it safe? Will anyone come? What if a coronavirus outbreak happens?

The funeral businesses who accept the challenge of staying useful amidst an ever-changing climate, are the future. This is where it takes truly  listening to families’ needs and concerns, then asking yourself the magic question, “what if…?” Don’t hold back on your ideas – that simple question has the power to inspire innovation. How can you redirect your expertise to meet the new needs of families and help guide them to a decision that’s best for them? 

Take action: Before you think about the ways you can meet families’ new needs, roll your sleeves up and find out what they are. If you can’t listen, you certainly can’t be useful. Learn more about the needs and concerns of your families by posting surveys, interviewing families or simply making it a point to tune up your listening skills, and offer suggestions along the way. 

 

CREATE A SENSE OF COMMUNITY

With 50% of Americans facing the challenge of feeling lonely all the time even prior to the outbreak, we realize loneliness is already a serious issue. And with racism’s sting exacerbating the feelings of separation, community is our greatest medicine now, and in the future. 

Reflect on the last couple of months, and notice what really worked in bringing people together, despite a deadly virus. What helped people feel loved? Supported? Seen? These are the questions we must ask ourselves when re-establishing our services.

Take action: Look into the ways you can create an actual community around your offerings. What would that look like? Grief support groups? Candle lighting ceremonies? Workshops? Let these community branches guide  you into better ways to serve your families.

 

EMBRACE BOREDOM

We may not be stuck at home anymore (although, many of us still are…), but we certainly have many more unemployed folks than we did a few months ago.  In fact, 1 in 4 U.S. workers have applied for jobless aid since the pandemic struck. That gives many Americans a lot more time to spare. 

With a death positive movement still under way, there couldn’t be a more perfect time to use this unique opportunity to get people  talking about and embracing their own mortality. This is how we, as a profession, can offer our expertise, as well as creatively inspire connections in our communities.

Take action: Partner with local experts, speakers, and influencers both online and in your community to create (free) educational programs that are relevant and interesting to the general public. If you need inspiration, find it with Death Cafes.

 

FOCUS ON LOCAL

Local is a concept that comes naturally to the funeral profession. And while communities are at different stages of the pandemic, it’s important to tune into the realities and climate of your local community. This point brings us back to square “1 – Be Helpful” by continuing to adapt to what your local community needs.

Behaviorally, people are wanting to support local businesses as well. How often do you embrace local businesses, partnerships, event spaces, and leaders? While the idea of a global market is rising, one thing COVID-19 taught us is the power of keeping it local. 

Take action: Brainstorm some ways you can strategically partner with local businesses and leaders to better serve your families. Where are your weaknesses and blindspots? Look to partner with those who help you fill those gaps.

 

BE GENEROUS

If there is one stereotype that the funeral profession just can’t shake is the used car salesman. Let’s be honest for a moment… many folks out there think your desire is to squeeze every penny out of them. (Which we know is FAR from the truth). 

So what if you used generosity as a pillar in the next chapter of your funeral business? Can you imagine the impact and healing that would have not only on you, but on the profession… and the world? These times call for kindness, and the cry for it is loud and clear. The only way through this is together.

Take action: Ask yourself, how can you be more generous? Give away something you normally wouldn’t? Offer more of your time and expertise to families? Free resources? Invite more generosity into the structures of your business, and the world will respond. 

 

How do you envision the new normal for the funeral profession? And how do you see this as an opportunity? Tell us in the comments below.

Rochelle Rietow

funeralOne

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  1. Autopsy Post Services, Inc.

    Thanks for sharing sharing this is much needed information!

  2. Krystal Penrose

    Thanks! Glad this helps.