Customer Service

Is Your Funeral Home’s Appearance a Problem?

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“The funeral home’s colors and décor are very dated and need to be updated.” ~ This comment was taken directly from a survey received through OGR’s consumer feedback program, The Family Contact Program.

 

Family Contact Participants often receive comments that help them improve their business offerings and practices. Through the blog series “Exploring Solutions with Family Contact,” members get better insight into services that might benefit their funeral home.


The last thing you want to hear from a family is that they enjoyed your services, but felt that the appearance of your funeral home was too outdated. The truth is that families care more about how your funeral home looks than you might think. The design and décor of a funeral home can affect the experience of your guests. Your funeral home’s appearance could be keeping your business from reaching the next level of family satisfaction.  In this week’s blog, OGR will explore the topic of funeral home renovation and what this means for funeral homes and the families they serve. Read the rest of this entry »

What It Means to be a Golden Rule Funeral Home

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For nearly 90 years, the Order of the Golden Rule (OGR) has embarked on a mission to seek out and identify outstanding funeral homes around the world. Our members are independent, locally owned and operated firms dedicated to providing exceptional service to their client families. We call them Golden Rule Funeral Homes.

Not just any firm can join OGR. Those seeking membership go through a carefully developed screening process to assure both OGR and the public that member firms are of the highest quality.

To be a part of this prestigious group means a firm has distinguished itself in the following ways: Read the rest of this entry »

People Skills that Build Trust with Your Families

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people-skills-that-build-trust-with-your-familiesHave you ever thought that being in the funeral business would be a lot easier if it weren’t for the people?

But, the reality is that if you are in the funeral business, you are in the people business.

The skills we use to manage ourselves and to respond to other people and situations play a big role in the success of our businesses. With client families, the skill set can include empathy, language free of industry jargon, and active listening. These skills aid in effective two-way communication so both parties have the same understanding and, especially, the same expectations. Having strong people skills builds trust between you and the families you serve.

By following a few simple steps to develop stronger people skills, you can ensure your messages are understood by those you serve, you will give better customer service and you will inevitably get repeat and referral calls. Read the rest of this entry »

Advice for Funeral Directors Working with Donor Families

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Photo Credit: Laura Demby      Jeni Stepien with Arthur Thomas after he walked her down the aisle at her wedding last Friday.

Jeni Stepien’s father was murdered ten years ago, but his heart lives on in the body of donor recipient Arthur Thomas. When Ms. Stepien  got engaged in October, 2015, she struggled with deciding who would walk her down the aisle. The thought that a piece of her father could be present during her wedding ceremony led her to ask Arthur if he’d be willing to escort her.  Mr. Thomas agreed, and after he walked her down the aisle on Friday, Jeni shared “My dad is here with us, and this man is here because of us.”

Such a beautiful story has us wondering what role the funeral director played in the Stepien and Thomas story. How can funeral service professionals serve families like the Stepiens? Funeral directors are well-positioned to provide donor families with the support and information they need and make a powerful impact in each family’s life, but is there anything they can do specifically?  Read the rest of this entry »

Let the Customer Think They’re Always Right

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McClure Customer is Right-1 Headder Many consumers shop around; others choose a funeral home based on location and relationship. That isn’t news, is it?

As funeral service professionals, we hope that when people are in need, they’ll trust us enough to come knocking on our door for the products and services we provide. Regardless of how they choose us, once their choice has been made, it’s up to us and our staff to ensure that they feel they have made the right choice. How do we do this? Read the rest of this entry »

I Want a Direct Cremation, Please.

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71% of Americans are projected to choose cremation in the year 2030.

Let that sink in.         

Seventy-one percent!

The newest data from the 2015 NFDA Cremation and Burial Report: Research, Statistics, and Projections predicts that the cremation rate will surpass burial by the end of this year. If the projections bear out, we will see even higher numbers in 2020 and 2030.

2005
final
2010
final
2013
final
2015
projected
2020
projected
2030
projected
Cremation (%)
32.3
40.4
45.4
48.5
56.2
71.0
Burial (%)
61.4
53.3
48.7
45.6
37.9
23.2

– Chart and summary from NFDA.

So what’s the big deal? Read the rest of this entry »

Tips for Delivering Great Funeral Service

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Everyone has their own ideas about giving and receiving great service, but funeral directors and staff are often expected to go above and beyond every time.

Each year, OGR awards three member firms with the Exemplary Service Award. Winners are chosen from comments received from families through the Family Contact Program. This year’s winners had a lot to say about the type of service they strive to provide and how they deliver great funeral service.

Their advice for being exemplary? See below.

Read the rest of this entry »