9 Pieces Of Funeral Service Advice To Live By


I started the funeralOne blog back in 2009 because there were far too few resources addressing the successes, questions, ideas, trials, and tribulations funeral professionals face throughout their journey.

And thankfully, over the years, the response has been through the roof. It’s rewarding to see first-hand how big of an impact  funeral professionals throughout the country have made by applying ideas, insight, and knowledge they’ve gained from the blog. That’s why I’m going to share my top 9 pieces of funeral service advice that I think you, and every funeral service professional, should live by:


1. Think celebration, not disposition


We’re no longer just here only to help families find a final resting place for their loved ones. We’re here to help families celebrate their loved one’s life in a unique and meaningful way. Today is the era of the “crowning performance”. We’re the writer, director, and our families’ loved ones are the stars. A casket won’t make their crowning performance meaningful. Personalization will.


2. The customer is always right


What if you walked into a store and someone tried to sell you something that would make the most profit for them? What about if someone tried to sell you something that was outdated, but it’s what they’ve always offered? You’d be confused and unhappy, right? Because as the customer, you’re there to get what you want – not what the salesman wants.

Think about that the next time a family walks in your door. Don’t offer them a casket because it’s what you want to sell them (and will make you the most money), spend the time to sit down and find out what they’re looking for so you can do your best to give them just that.


3. It’s all in the details


When a family calls your funeral home, who answers the phone? How do they answer the phone? What does a family see when they first walk into your funeral home? How are they greeted? How are they guided through the arrangement process? How do you follow up after the funeral service?

It’s important to think about these little things at your funeral home. Every detail adds up to create the overall customer experience at your firm. Is your experience something you can be proud of, or does it need work? Analyze every detail in your families’ customer journey to find out.


4. Rewrite the rules


If you don’t like the way things are done in your profession, why not find a better way to do them? Many businesses in the funeral profession who have changed the game have succeeded. And you could too. Be brave enough to create your own path, instead of following the tired, worn down path everyone else is following.


5. Focus on impact for families


Thinking about renovating, adding a product or service, or making a change to your funeral home? Think about how the end user – which are your families and funeral guests – will perceive the impact of that change.

Really take a close look at how they’ll benefit (or maybe not benefit) from those changes. Will it make their lives easier? Will it solve a problem for them? If not, you might want to re-think that change.


6. Invest in research


Unfortunately, there is very little research done in funeral service. But without research, how do we know what our customers want? How can we benchmark our performance? How do we find ways to improve?

Invest in research, then apply it. Do case studies, develop personas for your clients, ask for reviews from your customers… heck, do anything. Once you do, you’ll not only understand your families better, but you’ll also understand your business better, too.


7. Surround yourself with positivity


You know the saying – you are who you surround yourself with. That means removing the people from your life – friends, colleagues and employees – who create negativity in your life. It’s as simple as that. Choose the people you surround yourself with carefully, and make sure they challenge and inspire you.


8. Don’t work against each other


Collaboration is spotty and lacking on a personal, local and national level in funeral service. Instead of sniping at each other or looking at each other as fierce competition, why not have healthy conversations that will help us become better, together?

Collaboration is what breeds innovation. It sparks a better way to do things. It offers constructive criticism. Let’s unite together as funeral professionals. Trust me, we’re stronger together than apart.


9. Take risks


There’s only one thing more scary than taking a risk… and that’s not taking a risk at all. The largest risks you take at your funeral home will yield the greatest rewards. Always remember that when thinking about making change happen at your firm.

Which of these speak the most to you? Would you add any to our list? Tell us in the comments below!

Joe Joachim


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