As a funeral director, you’re not just there for the families you serve — you are a pillar of the community.
One of the main responsibilities that funeral directors have is in educating their communities. These days, fewer people are thinking about preplanning, life insurance, or even setting up their own arrangement preferences.
For some, it can be because they want to avoid talking about death. For others, it can be an issue of price. But many people who don’t take the time to plan don’t realize the negative impact it will have on their families.
As funeral directors, you can help start the conversation. There are several benefits of getting involved in the community and getting people to have those talks:
- It allows you to give families a history of your funeral home and tell its story
- It lets you showcase the services you offer
- You can showcase the memorial products, tributes, and other ways your home can help honor a life
- You can answer any questions or concerns a family may have
- You can lay to rest any misconceptions they may have about funeral care
- It helps bolster your funeral home’s image in the local community
Consider holding a seminar or open forum at the local hospital, hospice, or nursing home.
Studies show that while interest in learning more about preplanning and funeral options remain high, few families actually do so. The Funeral and Memorial Information Council (FAMIC) conducted a nationwide survey that found that 69% of adults 40 and older would like to pick out their own funeral arrangements, but only 17% actually did.
Another good sign is that people over the age of 40 understand the need for a funeral director. 86% said that funeral directors were important in helping pick out arrangements. So the desire to discuss is there. By setting up a seminar you can take the initiative to reach your families better.
Reach Out to Younger Generations
While it makes sense to speak with members of the family who are elderly, it’s also important to reach out to younger generations in your community. Their views are different than their parents, which may be a good thing for you.
The same FAMIC survey found that young adults are more likely to:
- Use and engage with memorialization websites
- Find out about a death through social networking (nearly 50% surveyed)
- Allow friends or family to make their funeral arrangements for them (42% surveyed)
- Have family and friends crowdfund their funeral
A great way to grab their attention is to hold a small meet and greet. It could be at your funeral home, a public park, or a conference center. Consider creating the event on Facebook to target younger audiences.
During the event, discuss the services you offer and the benefits of making arrangements. Take the time to answer any questions or concerns.
Not Easy, but Important
Death is a topic that will always be hard for many to discuss. As a funeral director, the most important things you can do is to ease any concerns families may have.