Whether your funeral home offers a formal aftercare program or you’re just getting started, providing ongoing care to your client families is a natural extension of the compassionate services you already offer. Aftercare is also an ideal opportunity to educate the entire community about the valuable programs your firm provides.
There are a variety of ways to approach aftercare. These simple ideas demonstrate that aftercare doesn’t have to be complicated to be effective and can really make a difference in the long-term success of your funeral home.
Stay in Touch.
Continuing to stay in touch with the client families you’ve served helps you foster relationships throughout the community. This easy yet critical practice will help increase the likelihood that you’ll be the funeral provider families choose (and eventually recommend to others) for all of their funeral service needs.
Opportunities to stay connected to these families could include:
- Grief Support Newsletter: Consider working with a grief expert to offer an ongoing digital or print communication to families you’ve served.
- Cards or Personal Notes: Send cards or notes during holidays and on significant dates to acknowledge the family’s loved one.
- Invitations: Ask families you’ve served to join you for special memorial events or to accept a gift (such as a holiday ornament) in honor of their loved one.
- Volunteering/Donations: Invite the families you’ve served to join you in giving back to the community or donating to a local non-profit.
- Social Events: Host small groups for social discussions or regular meetings, which can also take place online.
Plan Grief Support Events.
Team up with local grief experts in your area to offer support events and webinars. You can also leverage a variety of excellent tools and programs offered by state and national funeral service organizations.
When it isn’t possible to meet in person, grief support workshops can be held online. In those situations, you might consider offering each participant a gift card to a local coffee shop with a drive-thru or a restaurant with delivery options so they can enjoy refreshments or a meal as they participate.
Offer Grief Support Materials.
An on-site grief support library can be helpful for those who visit your funeral home in person and need resources to help them after the loss of a loved one. It can be a great starting point for individuals who are not yet ready to attend an in-person seminar or meeting.
During times when individuals are not able to access on-site aftercare offerings, you may also consider keeping a supply of printed booklets or other materials that you can mail to families you’ve served. To learn more about grief support materials such as Dr. Jason Troyer’s Finding Hope booklet series or Seasons of Change aftercare kit, contact your Homesteaders account executive.
When your funeral home has extra grief support materials available, consider donating them to area churches, schools, libraries and hospitals. Before distribution, attach a label indicating the materials were donated by your firm.
Aftercare can be an important part of any successful funeral home business, and these are just a few of the ways your firm can fulfill an important need and extend relationships within the communities you serve. If your firm offers aftercare, what types of resources do your client families request most often? Please share your comments below.