People have choices. They can eat at any restaurant, shop at any store and pick their own funeral home. To keep your reputation up and continue to build, you have to make sure that the families you serve feel valued. While you don’t have to literally bend over backward to show families they're integral to what you do, here are a few secrets you should know to keep your funeral home in good graces with families.
Listen, Listen, Listen!
One of the best things you can do to show your callers they're valued is listen. It may seem like a small thing, but there are times when a person will just give you the facts you need then move on, while in other situations you may receive a call that goes on and on as the family tells you everything about the loved one they've lost. In times like that, they might just need to vent — but you should still be attentive.
Throughout everything said — even a story — you can find helpful information you need, whether it’s the deceased’s favorite color or life motto. You don’t want families having to repeat information, which can make them feel unimportant and as if you’re too busy to assist them.
Understanding Every Family Is Unique
While death happens to everyone, the circumstances surrounding each one are different, just as people themselves are. There are some basic principles you can apply to multiple calls, but you still need to understand that the family you're speaking with is not the same as another, and they want something that fits the unique personality of their loved one.
Remember to be patient when you're listening to everything these callers tell you. They might run on with their thoughts, but you don’t want to rush or alienate a grieving caller. Allow them to vent and when you get the chance to speak, ask for any additional information you may need that wasn’t told to you. The conversation might just help them move on, and they’ll get the feeling that you care.
If you remember these secrets when families call, they will feel valued. Just remember that they are looking for assistance and going through a stressful time in their life. Listen to their needs and assess their specific situation to come up with a plan to help them.