When grief comes, it can leave people in a very vulnerable state. Helping clients preplan a funeral can prevent tension related to funeral services before they begin. Offering prepayment for services is an opportunity to provide additional care and can attract people who want to knock out all finances before hitting the ground running. The combination of preplanning and prepayment can save families so much time, money, and emotional energy. Some primary concerns your clients may have in the preplanning process are: choosing between burial or cremation, choice of service (gathering, visitation, funeral, and memorial services), casket or headstone, and any personal touches they are considering. Knowing how to explain these thoroughly ahead of time will help your clients feel more confident moving forward with you.
The price of a funeral is especially important to families with a budget. Only 52% of American adults have life insurance. The average funeral cost ranges from $7,000-$12,000, and this means that many people are paying for funerals — expected or unexpected — out of pocket. Being able to work within a budget without trying to upsell more expensive products will help you build an excellent reputation with your local community and inevitably attract more business.
Funerals are one-time events, but the grief doesn't end there. Losing loved ones is a traumatic experience that can take months or years to overcome. As a funeral home director, you should consider grief programs for your current and potential clients that may struggle through the five stages of grief. Some individuals may even become stuck in the grieving process and require mental health intervention from a trained professional. Other programs to consider integrating for clients include support groups, seminars, books, grief counseling for children, and accessibility to resources such as weekend getaway camps or counseling centers. Emotional suffering takes time to overcome, and empathy can make all the difference.
Communication and Accessibility
There are a lot of questions to ask a funeral director. Some inquiries a family may have could include:
- What is and isn't included in your costs?
- What services do you provide?
- Can we choose a burial or cremation funeral?
- Can the funeral be personalized?
- Would you come to our house to discuss funeral planning?
Many families may come through your doors and have no idea how to plan a funeral step by step, but you can assist them throughout the process. The official duties of a funeral director are to oversee and direct the various aspects of funeral services, but this doesn't include the amount of communication between the director and the family of the deceased. Communication and accessibility are two fundamental reasons a family may be interested in your funeral home. The perfect memorial plan is crafted through continued communication between all parties. Staying on top of this and following up with your clients will help provide peace and reassurance.
Your funeral home's reputation is an essential element that is formed through good reviews over time. A wide range of funeral home negligence can occur, such as disappearing jewelry and gold fillings or in severe cases, stolen organs. Preventing events like this from happening in your funeral home is the first step of many in building a positive reputation and relationship with your community.
Creating the perfect ceremony begins when a family chooses their funeral home. Families come together with their chosen funeral director to memorialize their loved ones properly. At Shields Professional Vehicles, we exist to assist funeral homes in providing procession vehicles and would love to join you in caring for your clients.