When you are deciding on which funeral home to work with when making funeral arrangements for your loved one, there are many different things that you should consider the ensure that you are engaging with the right funeral home for you and your family.
Some initial things to consider are:
- Does the funeral home have a superior reputation in the local area?
- Is the funeral home locally owned and operated, or is it part of a large multinational company?
- Do their staff have extensive experience in the funeral industry?
- Do they offer individualized, unique, and personalized service that is superior to other funeral homes in the area?
- Are they reasonably priced and offer a range of options and packages to suit a variety of budgets?
Aside from these, one thing to consider is the location of the funeral home and how convenient it will be for you to use their services when making funeral arrangements.
Making Funeral Arrangements
Regardless of the funeral home that you decide to engage to care for your loved one, there will be some similarities between what will occur. Things like the paperwork and documents that you will be required to complete, the information that will be required during the arrangement, providing clothing for your loved one to be dressed in, and where the funeral arrangements will take place.
For us, we offer funeral arrangements to occur at any of our convenient locations, or we also offer for our funeral directors to visit you in the comfort of your own home. For some people, they prefer the convenience of having a funeral director visit them at home to make the arrangements, they feel more comfortable in their own space, and it can be easier to have family meet in a known location that is familiar to everyone, rather than a funeral home. On the other hand, some people find it easier to meet at the funeral home, especially if there is a difficult family dynamic, or if you are visiting for the funeral arrangements and do not have a residence that is suitable to have a funeral director visit you.
Funeral Home Reputation
In this digital and technological age, reviewing the services of a funeral home has never been easier and is something that you should do prior to engaging a funeral director to care for you, your family and your loved one. There are so many platforms that offer the ability for people to rate and review a funeral home, such as Google and Facebook and these reviews are an important part of deciding which funeral home is best for you. When we look at the relevant experience that other families have had with a funeral home, we can gauge what we should expect when dealing with them and their staff and we can be sure that they will offer the best service possible.
Locally Owned and Operated
You might ask the question “Why is it important to choose a funeral home that is Locally Owned and Operated?” and the answer to this one is simple. Locally owned and operated funeral homes are often family run businesses. This means that they are more flexible, adaptable, and more able to offer that high standard of personalized care and compassion that you would expect from a funeral home. Whereas, a funeral home that is part of a large multinational company, is going to always be more focused on performance targets, profits, and will be less able to provide a personalized service, they also tend to have a much higher staff turnover and whilst they may have been operating for a long time, their staff are usually inexperienced and lack the wealth of skill and knowledge that a locally owned and operated funeral home would have.
The staff that work at the funeral home are more than just the ambassadors for that funeral home, they are the people who will provide you with care and compassion through an extremely difficult time in your life, so making sure that they have the skills and experience is an essential part of your decision-making process. Locally owned funeral homes generally have staff that are multi-skilled, capable of working across all areas of the funeral journey and have built a complex set of skills that enable them to assist you greater, whereas those large company run funeral homes generally have a “person for every task” type of structure, where their staff are only trained in one area of the funeral journey and lack the experience and understanding of the bigger picture or the knowledge of the entire funeral journey. Locally owned funeral homes tend to have much higher staff retention, meaning that their staff will likely stay with them for many years and build a sense of family within their funeral home, as opposed to high staff turnover and low staff morale at the big company run funeral homes.
Staff experience is an essential consideration when selecting a funeral home. A great way to assess the staff experience is to view the funeral home website and see if they offer a profile of each of their staff. Locally owned funeral homes will generally have a profile for every single staff member and will list their experience and key skills, whereas the big companies might only mention the location manager and not worry about the rest of the team. This speaks volumes to their staff retention and will immediately let you know to be cautious. Those funeral homes that do not tell you anything about their staff, well, they are most likely not ones that you would want to engage with. Always do your research and do not be afraid to ask questions about the people who will be caring for you and your loved one.
Level of Service
It is important to understand what level of service a funeral home can offer to you at your time of need. Whilst most people think that funerals are all similar, the truth is that a great funeral home with superior service, will go above and beyond to ensure that your loved one’s funeral is not run of the mill, instead it is unique and special and something that pays tribute to their life. They have the time and flexibility to ensure that you have exactly what you need and want when it comes to the funeral service and the interactions leading up to the funeral service. Your funeral director should provide nothing but the highest levels of care, compassion, empathy, understanding and service, always.
Are They Reasonably Priced?
Funerals are not the cheapest event to plan, however they do not have to be expensive either. Funeral homes that provide transparent pricing and structure their funeral packages with integrity and clarity are the ones to look out for. You should not have to contact a funeral director to know what their pricing structure looks like; it should be clearly listed on their website and available for the public to see. You should also not have to meet with a funeral director in person to obtain their pricing, this should be something that you can do without pressure, without obligation and in the comfort of your own home. Compare local funeral home pricing to make sure that you are not paying more than you need to for a wonderful funeral service. Remember however to tread carefully with this one, a low price is fine, but low service to match the price is not fine.
Where Are They Located?
You already have enough to deal with when planning a funeral, without having to have the added burden of extensive travel to a funeral home. Look for a funeral home that it in your local area, that has a great reputation, offers the highest levels of service, has an experienced and skilled team of funeral professionals, and is priced affordably.
As always, choosing a funeral home is an incredibly personal and private decision. When the time comes and you need a funeral director, reach out to us for a chat and experience the family difference that we offer all our families.
You can contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by phoning 1300 043 522.