How COVID Impacts the Funeral Experience


funeral home marketing - value

Has COVID-19 impacted what families consider to be a valuable funeral experience?

Definitely!

I’ll keep this week’s newsletter brief because 1) this topic does not need a lot of explanation, and 2) I think we’re all exhausted from the combination of a global pandemic and a polarizing election.

In my Funeral Business Builder ebook, the chapter on delivering a valuable experience is focused on applying the concepts from the book “The Experience Economy” to a funeral. I outlined some specific recommendations and gave examples.

I stated that it is important to create something that encourages people to linger. Having people spend additional time at a visitation was a great way to determine whether or not you’ve created an experience instead of a service. But that was before COVID.

I’m currently working with a new client and have outlined a detailed plan to transform them from being a provider of funeral services to a creator of funeral experiences. However, given that his community is now a COVID hotspot, we agree that it would be irresponsible to create a beautiful visitation that encourages large gatherings.

So, this begs the question, how do we create something that families value during a pandemic?

I believe the number one thing people value today is safety, and anything you can do to keep their family safe is appreciated.

You cannot mandate behavior above and beyond what your state is requiring. That would violate the neutral position that I advocated in my last newsletter. But you can provide options for people who want an additional level of safety. Webcasting is a great example.

Some of my clients have been webcasting all of their services since March when cases first started to surface. Others have said that families were not interested until recently.

One client told me that he’s only had one webcasting since this pandemic began because families didn’t want that service. But the tide has turned, and he now has three scheduled in the next few days.

It seems like families everywhere are realizing that webcasting is a great way to involve family members who want to stay home and stay safe.

What else do families value during COVID? Simplicity.

Let’s face it for most people; life is pretty darn hard these days. Then a family member passes away, and their stress level goes up another notch.

If you want to be of value to families today, make it easy to do business with your funeral home.

I have multiple clients looking to add online arrangements to their websites. Unfortunately, most of the website vendors’ solutions are too complicated and do not simplify the arrangement process.

But there are some bright lights out there from companies offering simple solutions. I had a demo recently from PartingPro and would put them in that category. The new quote builder from Front Runner looks pretty simple as well.

Technology is one way to make it easy to do business with your funeral home. Another way is to offer service packages that are easy to understand.

Does a GPL make it easy for a grieving family to make decisions? Definitely not!

Every funeral home needs to have three simple packages that families can choose from. They can personalize the packages but keep it simple by giving them three options as a starting point.

Focus on making it as simple as possible to do business with your funeral home, and you will be adding value to a family’s funeral experience.

But what about after COVID? What will a family value when the pandemic finally goes away?

I promised to keep this newsletter short, so I’ll cover that scenario when it finally gets here. Let’s just hope it’s soon…

Until next time

John

John Callaghan

Fractional Chief Marketing Officer for Funeral Business Builders

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