6 Research-Backed Insights On How Families Choose Your Funeral Home

There is very little research circulating around on how families choose funeral homes.

Without this information, how can we be empowered to make smart funeral marketing decisions?

Although funeral industry consumers are still learning that they even have much of a choice when it comes to funeral services, it’s important to empower our consumers to choose a funeral home that truly resonates with their needs.

By empowering consumers, we also educate them on why funeral service is even valuable in the first place (which is a huge challenge for many!).

So how can we empower, and in turn, give value, to our potential client families?

Here are 6 insights based on research, and how to put them into practice:


Insight #1: Trustworthiness is the #1 desired characteristic of funeral directors

After a heck of a year, all funeral consumers really want to know is… “Can I trust the funeral director I’m hiring?”. In a funeral market study, the deciding characteristic for many when choosing a funeral home was that they were trustworthy (source). While it may seem obvious that trustworthiness should be the #1 priority for any business, unfortunately that is a quality the funeral profession struggles with. With the amount of news-worthy buzz around scams at funeral homes all over the country, it’s important we start taking steps to create a new foundation of trust, both individually and collectively.

Put this insight into practice: Center your business model around trustworthiness first and foremost. Build deeper relationships with your families as much as you can. And as you do this work, be sure to offer reviews and testimonials on your funeral home website, giving families that feeling of trust and care.

Read more: How to Grow Your Funeral Business With Online Reviews


Insight #2:  Consumers are looking for transparency when it comes to options and pricing.

Along the lines of trustworthiness, comes transparency. According to a 2018 NFDA Consumer Survey, families reported that their two most important things to consider when choosing a funeral home were transparent pricing and an easily accessible list of available service options. We like to believe that transparency is a form of encouragement and empowerment for client families, as we see these as major business trends in other industries in 2021

Put this insight into practice: 

In the now mostly online world we work in,  your funeral home website should offer potential families the information they’re looking for, easily and quickly. A general pricing list (GPL) and list of service options should be easy to find on your website.

Read more: Consumer Truths Driving the Future of the Funeral Experience 


Insight #3: Recommendations should be the forefront of your marketing efforts.

According to the same Funeral Market Study mentioned above, “Recommendation(s) can be a significant influencing factor for a family, especially if it is the first time that they have experienced bereavement.” (source) What this means for you is that focusing on building relationships with your current families is a much more effective marketing strategy than attracting new families. Remember the saying: “A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush”.

Put this insight into practice: Start building more and better relationships with your families and similar businesses in your local community, so that you can support each other and your families.

Read more: Grow Your Funeral Home Fast By Collaborating With These 6 Types of Local Businesses


Insight #4: The most appreciated aspects of a funeral service are meaning and support.

While it’s nice to have all the bells and whistles of a top-notch funeral home, it’s important to remember the basics. This seems to be a theme so far, doesn’t it? According to CMA, “People want a funeral director’s help to achieve a ‘meaningful farewell’. Supporting the bereaved emotionally and helping them to give meaning to the funeral was often the most appreciated aspect of the funeral director’s service.” 

Put this insight into practice: Provide different service options that have a degree of emotional support, such as e-Aftercare as an additional free service for your potential families. Also, empower families with the intention to come up with their own ideas for a meaningful service.


Insight #5: Less is not always more.

Back in the day, and still today, many funeral directors have the misunderstanding that families want less, not more. The “cremate me and put me in a coffee tin” notion made famous in the movie “The Bucket List” may have prevailed in our culture then, but things are changing. In fact, according to the aforementioned Funeral Market Study, families are more likely to add to an existing funeral bundle package (34%) than reduce it (10%). 

Put this insight into practice: Try offering varying degrees of support in your funeral bundle packages, starting with more simple options, and not shying away from the more intricate ones.


Insight #6: Funeral consumers are in need of education on service standards and options.

If there’s one thing that keeps your potential families from choosing a more intricate funeral service, it’s their lack of education on their options. A recent CMA survey indicated that funeral customers are often “inexperienced purchasers, often with little knowledge of how to assess service standards.” I must say that we get comments daily from funeral consumers who read our blogs on service options and say “I had no idea that was possible! Thanks for letting me know.”

Put this insight into practice: Offer plenty of free educational content on your funeral home website to empower your potential families. Host talks, workshops, seminars on topics you know are relevant to them and also educational. Partner up with local businesses who can help you create a valuable educational experience for your families.  If you’re looking for inspiration, check out Schoedinger Funeral & Cremation Services “Resources” section on their website.

Read More: What Cremation Families Really Want (And How to Offer It)


Want a funeral home website as insightful as this research?

f1Connect is the leading funeral home website platform. If you’d like a free consultation with us to see how your website is doing, give our Funeral Success Specialists a call at 800-798-2575, ext. 5. or click here to schedule a consultation.


What insights do you have to share on how families choose a funeral home? Tell us in the comments below!

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  1. Colette Kemp

    Good advice Rochelle, we will be sharing. Colette.

  2. Krystal Penrose

    Glad you enjoyed it Colette!