5 Personalization Hacks for Better Funerals
Article by: Rochelle Rietow, FuneralOne
There isn’t a day that passes where I see an article on “life hacks” that I’m not tempted to click on. After all, we live in a fast-paced world where everyone’s trying to find time to do more and make their life a little bit easier.
For all the life hack articles I see out there, I can safely say I’ve never read one that helps make funeral director’s lives easier. This comes as a huge surprise to me, since a career in funeral service can be one of the most time-consuming, stressful (yet, very rewarding) careers of all.
But first, what the heck is a life hack?! Technically, life hacks are “strategies or techniques adopted in order to manage one’s time and daily activities in a more efficient way,” so today I’m going to talk about some ways you can be more efficient with one of the most valuable ideas out there – funeral personalization. Time and time again, I hear funeral professionals tell me they don’t have enough time to offer personalized services to their families.
Hopefully after reading some of these funeral personalization hacks, you’ll be able to start offering amazing personalized services at your funeral home (without spending all of your time on them):
1. Create an “idea bank”
It seems like everyone who is successful these days has a folder, Pinterest board, or USB full of inspiration and ideas to fuel them. Create your own idea bank by saving or clipping all of the amazing personalization ideas you find (or do yourself). That way, you can never run out of great funeral personalization ideas when you’re talking with your families.
2. Send families a questionnaire before your meeting
Sure, it might seem like you’re already burying your families in questions during the arrangement meeting. But gathering information on their loved one’s life and passions can help you plan a meaningful funeral. Create a questionnaire designed to get them thinking about personalization ahead of time. Just focus on asking the right questions so you can learn as much about the loved one as you can in a short period of time. After all, the more you know, the more meaningful celebration of life you can create for them. Need help asking the right questions? Use this guide we’ve created to help quickly identify your families’ needs.
3. Ask families to bring in photos and mementos to your first meeting
In my experience, asking families to bring in photos or mementos has never been an inconvenient task for them. In fact, gathering these items helps them start the grieving process. Simply say “Could you bring a few meaningful photos and mementos along for our first meeting? It will help us get a feel for who [INSERT NAME] was.” With photos and meaningful keepsakes on-hand during your first meeting, starting the personalization conversation will be a lot easier and a lot less daunting.
4. Borrow ideas from wedding and party planners
There’s no arguing that funerals are very similar to weddings and milestone celebrations. And let’s be honest, there is a lot funeral service could learn from wedding and party planners. So why not do some research and see what kinds of new, creative ideas you can get from them? Or, if you’re feeling really ambitious, you could reach out to a wedding or party planner and interview them on their creative process. You just might be surprised by how much you learn.
5. Foster relationships with event-related companies in your area
As a funeral director, you’re already seen as a respected member of your community, so why not network with like-minded individuals in your area? Make friends with local delis, catering companies, party planners, charitable organizations and other local businesses that could potentially help you offer families something special. You could also consider attending events in industries that focus on celebrations and gatherings. You’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with, so build a strong, strategic network.
What other life hacks do you have for personalizing funerals? Tell us in the comments below!