5 Questions Every Funeral Director Should Be Asking Themselves

July 12, 2019

The mirror doesn’t lie.

What questions should you be asking yourself to make your funeral home better?


“The tragedy of life is not found in failure but complacency. Not in you doing too much, but doing too little."
- Benjamin Mays, civil rights activist and pastor


It can be easy to let complacency set in in the funeral industry. Let’s face it, your customer base is growing every day, and your funeral home might be the only one in town. You might have to compete against a couple of other businesses, but there are still plenty of customers to go around. If you are like most funeral directors, this business has been in your family for years. It can be very easy to take your foot off the gas and assume that what has always worked for in the past will work in the future. But the future is here, and business models in every industry are changing with it. Funeral homes can no longer rest on their laurels or accomplishments from the past. It’s time to take a long hard look at your home and ask yourself these five tough questions to prepare for the future!

Question #1: Are we prepared for the bariatric boom?

The bariatric “boom” is upon us! In just 10 years, almost half of all caskets will need to be oversized to accommodate the decedent. Traditional hearses and vehicles will not be able to handle the size of the caskets. Even your home itself might need to be modified to be ready. It’s not enough to be aware of the oncoming tide of bariatric funeral needs - it’s time to be prepared and stay ready. What are you doing to prepare for the bariatric boom?

Question #2: Is digital marketing passing us by?

There was a time when advertising in church bulletins and on placemats at the local diner was enough. But, the new, younger generation of funeral directors is tech-savvy, and they are reaching customers in ways you never knew existed via the internet and social media. Social media provides very targeted advertising opportunities that help you find the exact customer you are looking for, rather than casting a wide net via a billboard or traditional media ad that goes out to the masses. Smartphones can put you at the fingertips of clients at the time when you need to speak with them the most: when they are making decisions on final arrangements. You may think that you will be the home they turn to, but in today’s modern era, the last name they see is the first one they call. Clients also rely heavily on online reviews and public opinions expressed on social media, so you just can’t afford to miss out on the contact opportunities social media and digital advertising create.

Question #3: Are we offering enough green burial solutions?

With the excessive rains in the Midwest and East Coast and news of the ice caps melting faster than ever in Iceland, there is increasing concern about the environment. It’s no secret that the industry has been facing scrutiny over the pollution caused by embalming and emissions released from cremation, so more people are thinking “green” than ever. What were once considered to be niche services that utilize biodegradable materials and eco-friendly solutions are becoming the norm. The internet is giving individual ideas about different ways to bury the decedent that are easier on the environment, and if they come to you for that concept, you need to be ready to deliver or risk losing their business to the competition.

Question #4: Am I adding value to the family’s experience?

Gone are the days where providing a meat and cheese tray is considered a premium perk for doing business with a funeral home. We live in a society where customers expect more, and that is no different in the funeral industry. What are you offering to create an experience that provides comfort to the family while establishing your home as the premier funeral home in the area? It has become the home’s responsibility to provide mental health services for the family to help them deal far beyond the funeral services. The funeral home is now expected to handle everything from selection to “thank you” card stationery. The more things you can take off the plate of the family, the more they will remember how well you took care of them and recommend you to others. These are the stories and testimonials that end up on social media and make you a trusted recommendation.

Question #5: Are we prepared for the unexpected?

What if there was a mass tragedy? Would you be prepared for disaster on that level? What happens when a family member of a loyal client passes away while vacationing in the Dominican Republic? Would you be in a position to get the body back to the family? These are just a few scenarios that can cause panic for a funeral director that is ill-prepared. What would you do to be ready?

National Mortuary Shipping specializes in options for those out-of-sorts scenarios that can cause you to search for outside-the-box solutions. When you need to handle shipping arrangements, you know to call National Mortuary Shipping. But, we can offer more. If you need direction on green burial solutions, bariatric solutions, companies that can help with your website and digital presence, or any other element of the death industry, we are the name to call. Contact NMS today and let us help you become the funeral home you know you can be!

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