In the funeral profession, there are key differences between the terms happy and satisfied. While a satisfied family has had each of their needs met, a happy family has experienced something beyond the terms of your agreement. With regard to death care, this extra something often refers to emotional attention and care.

The passing of a loved one brings about profound grief and transition for a family. During this time, funeral homes can play a key role in helping families navigate the complex terrain of coping with death. 

Naturally, most funeral homes can adequately plan and arrange a memorial service; however, the truly great businesses––those that create generations of loyalty––know how to support their families beyond providing tangible goods and services. They go one step further to create happy families.


What a Happy Family Looks Like

When planning a service strategy that emphasizes happiness over mere satisfaction, it’s important to remember that every family is different. Because of this, your service strategy should be rooted in attention and individualization. 

Some families must navigate the difficult terrain of dividing an estate between heirs, while others are fundraising to cover the cost. Regardless of the circumstances, you’ll want to figure out how to make each family touchpoint speak to these particular needs, providing assistance when possible.

Remember, it’s the “above and beyond” service that often makes a difference, especially during such a painful time.


How They Help Your Funeral Home

We’re all familiar with the negative reviews that appear online in the wake of an unsatisfactory service; however, in a similar fashion, truly happy customers can be swayed to share their experience with others and perhaps even through a review online. This is a great way to attract new families as consistent positive reviews increase your rankings on search engines like Google. 

Additionally, happy families will likely share their opinions with friends and loved ones. Since funeral arrangements are most often purchased at need, these types of recommendations prove valuable to funeral homes.

What a Satisfied Family Looks Like

Alternatively, a satisfied family will likely remain quiet. While they likely won’t go around town saying negative things about your funeral home, they certainly won’t spread glowing opinions. More importantly, they’ll be less likely to return to your business for their next funeral service, instead opting for a different funeral home.


How They Hinder Your Funeral Home

While happy families will become loyal to your funeral home and share their experience with other people, satisfied families will do neither of these things. Imagine, for example, a family who recently used your services was asked how they liked your funeral home and their response was, “it was fine.” 

As someone looking to book a preneed service or wanting to be prepared for the passing of a loved one, would you choose a funeral home labeled, “fine?”


How to Make Satisfied Families Happy

Since satisfied families are unlikely to be forthcoming with their opinions, the first step to identifying service issues is to obtain their feedback. One of the best ways to accomplish this is through surveys. 

Following the completion of a service, consider reaching out to families through email and request that they complete a survey. Software like Performance Tracker X  by J3Tech Solutions enables you to quickly customize a survey where you can ask about any aspect of your funeral home and obtain valuable input from families. 

Once you’ve obtained a substantial amount of survey responses, you’ll inevitably begin to see patterns. Perhaps certain components of your business are leaving guests happy while others leave them underwhelmed. Armed with this information, you can begin to make improvements.


Making Changes

Regardless of the content of their responses, you should sincerely thank families for taking the time to provide feedback. If a family provides particularly negative feedback about a certain component of your business, you’ll want to go one step further–apologize for the noted deficiencies in your service. You might even articulate the specific efforts you’re taking to correct these shortcomings.


Increase Family Loyalty

While happy families are generally vocal about their positive experiences, satisfied clients are prone to being taciturn. Even when asked to respond to a survey, their feedback may not provide much clarity. Because of this, consultants are a great way to obtain unbiased feedback about your funeral home’s performance.

At Johnson Consulting Group, our team of consultants has decades of experience in the death care industry. Armed with hands-on knowledge and a greater awareness of the marketplace, they can partner with your funeral home to manage the family experience. By observing the current operations of your funeral home, they can help you understand which aspects of your business stand to grow, and they can help you chart a strategy to accomplish this. 

To earn the loyalty of your families, you need to exceed their expectations. With the help of the JCG team, you can learn how to better serve your families, leaving them happier with your services.