Last year was challenging, to say the least. Funeral service was put to the test as the coronavirus pandemic took hold and spread across the country. While we are far from done battling this pandemic, there are many reasons to be optimistic about the future. Here are a few takeaways we discovered from an otherwise chaotic year.
1. Funeral service will persevere.
Many funeral providers throughout the country were inundated with increased calls and services in 2020. Several areas of the United States are still facing these issues today. Despite these challenges and many others, funeral professionals continued to provide exceptional service to their communities. Their determination to continue to help families honor their loved ones while keeping their communities and staff safe made us more thankful than ever to work with funeral providers every day.
2. Online funeral planning provides more options.
In 2020, eFuneral launched eFuneral Agent, a way for preneed agents and consumers to connect, plan and pay for funerals online. Many consumers and funeral professionals have used these tools to safely plan funerals during times when they were unable to meet face to face due to health guidelines.
3. Technology is key for funeral businesses.
In the fall of 2020, Homesteaders announced Homesteaders Solutions, a suite of integrated services to help you create and manage exceptional customer experiences, increase family satisfaction and grow preneed and at-need market share. Even before the pandemic struck, funeral providers were often inundated with administrative tasks that took away from time that could be spent connecting with their client families. Homesteaders Solutions has helped alleviate those pain points and many others.
Firms now have more solutions to help relieve burdens from their staff members while upholding their high standards of service. Homesteaders Solutions not only offloads transactional work, but also manages online reviews, provides thoughtful text message-based aftercare and increases customer satisfaction.
4. Creativity and compassion matter more than ever.
Throughout the pandemic, we heard many stories of our funeral home customers stepping up and providing creative ways for families to celebrate their loved one safely. Funeral providers hosted outdoor services and drive-through visitations to provide space for social distancing. Others rotated visitors through celebrations in small groups. Some funeral homes began a “Hugs from Home” program that allowed friends and family to send messages of support digitally prior to the service, which were then tied to balloons and placed in the chapel for the family to view.
It’s hard to look back at a year that sometimes still feels like it hasn’t ended. We’re profoundly grateful that funeral professionals have proven once again that nothing will stand in their way of helping a family during one of the worst moments of the lives.