How To Avoid The Future of Funeral Service’s Mistakes

What happens when your market changes faster than you can keep up?

The most obvious answer: mistakes are bound to be made. Lot’s of them. And experts have predicted that there are plenty of mistakes that funeral service, as a whole, could make if we don’t change our ways sooner than later.

What are these mistakes, you ask?

Here are the 5 mistakes funeral service professionals may make in the upcoming years – and more importantly, how they can be avoided:

Mistake #1: Resisting change

Over the last decade, a tidal wave of change has hit the funeral profession, and this may only be the beginning. Your families are no longer counting on funeral professionals to decide which is the best service option for them because, let’s face it, their needs have changed. People want to be buried organically and remembered authentically. They want to take a larger part in the celebration of their loved ones.

It doesn’t necessarily mean you should reinvent the wheel. It may just require taking the core of what you do and adapting it to the needs of today’s families. Your place in the world as a funeral director is important. What you do will not change. How you do it will, though. And failing to embrace this idea could lead to failure. Instead, welcome change in your funeral home for the necessary and important part of business (and life) that it is.

Mistake #2: Ineffectively communicating value to families

Perhaps you have heard of this common expression – “‘I see’ said the blind man to his deaf daughter.” When it comes to communicating your value to families, this expression is the perfect way to capture the essence of it.

Effectively communicating your value to families is a must if you want to be successful. But if you’re communicating your value in one way and your families are wanting to hear it in another way, you won’t get through to them. This has been a huge problem in funeral service over the last decade, ever since families’ needs have changed. A new kind of family has entered our world and many of us have failed to understand them.  Now, communicating value to families starts with getting to know them inside and out.

First, create a buyer persona for your families – this will involve researching and asking demographic, behavioral and psychological questions about them. Then, try these 6 other marketing tools that will help you better understand your families. Once you do, communicating your value to families will come so easily, you won’t feel like you’re trying to sell them something, you’ll feel like you’re helping them solve their biggest problems when it comes to planning a funeral.

Mistake #3: Not making funeral personalization personal

Let’s make this clear: a funeral is not personalized simply because it features a photo collage or a “Master Fisherman” casket. Sure, these elements are a way to celebrate someone. But, what makes a funeral truly personalized is that it’s actually personal. That means sitting down with the family, truly getting to know their loved one and deciding how you can celebrate that person’s life in a way that’s completely unique to them.

Otherwise, what’s the point? A tribute video is meaningless if it’s not how that person wanted to be remembered. A eulogy is pointless if someone who knows nothing about the loved one offers it. Personalized funerals aren’t what will save funeral service. Personalizing your services to accommodate each individual family or loved one is. The days of simply relying on tradition will soon be gone. What will always remain is your commitment to accommodate each individual family’s needs.

Mistake #4: Failing to connect with families

Unless you’ve been hiding in a cave for the last few years, you know that the first place families go when they want to find a funeral home is Google. What does this mean for you? It means that if your website isn’t your most important marketing tool, you’ll most likely miss out on many potential families who are looking for a website that offers them what they need, when they need it. That means making sure your website is mobile-friendly, up-to-date, professionally designed and thoughtfully structured to prove your value and stand out from the competition.

Need help designing your website with your families in mind? Be sure to check out our favorite article for optimizing your website: How To Attract 278% More Families To Your Funeral Home Website.

Mistake #5: Not learning from our mistakes

Sure, all of these tips are great for avoiding a lot of common mistakes in the world of funeral service. But the most important thing you can do is to not fear making these mistakes. Failure can be an eye-opening lesson that everyone faces during their career. And if we don’t see our failures as a stepping stone to success – or even acknowledge that they exist in the first place – then how can we improve?

If something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to ditch it. If you have a question, ask it. If you fall down, get back up and ask yourself what you can do better to avoid it next time. Keep this mindset in your toolbox for forever. It will be your most important tool.

So now what?

These solutions may not cover all of funeral service’s biggest mistakes, but they’re a darn good start. Just remember that by simply thinking about these mistakes and observing them, we are taking a HUGE step in the right direction. Because as long as you are willing to learn, your career is willing to teach you. Your families are willing to teach you. We are ready to teach you. Now the ball is in your court. Once you realize this, everything else will fall into place. Now go forth and succeed, funeral professional!

What other ways do you think we can avoid some of funeral service’s biggest mistakes? Tell us in the comments below!

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