Bring On the Kids: Is Your Funeral Home Catering to All Ages?
I recently attended an open house for a local funeral home client of mine. The funeral home has been in business for over 75 years, but the building recently fell victim to the process of old age and needed redone. The funeral home was completely gutted and remodeled. The process took over 15 months to complete, so to celebrate their new building they had an open house for the community. What I found to be a priority when the building was remodeled may be surprising to you.
The open house was on a Saturday afternoon. My wife was working and I could not get anyone to watch my two girls so I got them all dressed up and explained to my two year how important it was for her to behave. I am sure she fully understood!! When I arrived to the funeral home I was greeted at the door by the funeral director. We have a very good business relationship, but he has never met my girls. I explained to him why I had to bring the girls and that I would leave before they got to restless. His reply caught me off guard.
He said, ?I am glad you brought them, they are going to have a great time.? My first thought was the only way they are going to be having a good time is if you don?t mind them running wild, screaming at the top of there lungs, and jumping on all of the furniture. I didn?t say it but man I sure was thinking it. Seeing the fear of disaster in my eyes he said, ?Bring them back here, they are going to like this?. Again, not sure what to expect, I was just thinking disaster.
We walked to the end of the hall were there was a great big room with tons of kid toys. There were thinks for all ages. There was even a brand new Playstation for older kids. I have seen kids rooms in funeral homes before, but nothing like this. The most I have ever seen was a TV and a few puzzles (because kids love to sit quietly and play with puzzles all day)!! I had never seen anything like this.
I asked way they went to such expense to build a room just for kids and then stock the room with such nice things, even a Playstation? The reply I got was simple yet never had crossed my mind before. The funeral director said, ?A funeral home is suppose to feel like a home, before we remodeled we never had a room just for kids. When families would make arrangements and they had to bring along their children they were never comfortable. The mother or father always had to leave the room to see where the kids were. In our new place we wanted to provide a room where parents could leave their children and feel comfortable about it. We have installed a wireless camera that can be viewed on a screen in the arrangement rooms and offices. Now no matter where a family goes in the funeral home they can see their children and not have to worry about what they are getting into. Like I said, a funeral home is a place for families and children are part of those families?.
I stood their in shock, not because I just heard something so unbelievably amazing, but because I just heard something that was so simple and made all the sense in the world, yet I have never seen another funeral home embrace all ages of a family in that way. They were catering to the children as well as the parents. I guess for me, as a parent, when someone does something for my children it means more than when they do something for me.
I want to make everyone think a little here. Is the funeral home you own or work for catering to all members of the families your serve? How many families would feel more comfortable if you provided a room just for their children to play? A safe room where they can see what their children are doing without ever having to leave your office or arrangement room.