Think about the most recent positive experience you had with a service provider. Most likely, your experience was notable because the people you worked with made an effort to understand your preferences and then used their own expertise to offer reliable suggestions about how they could accommodate your choices.
You have an opportunity to provide families who choose cremation with exceptional service – but in order to do that you have to know what they expect from you and how you can exceed those expectations. If you were to ask families who choose cremation what they want you to know about their choices, what would they tell you? The best way to understand a family’s preferences is to ask them directly, but you can also be prepared to anticipate their needs by reviewing data that has already been collected about families who choose cremation.
THEY WANT OPTIONS.
Cremation is becoming a more familiar option for client families, but that doesn’t mean they’re aware of all of the options that are available to them. As a funeral service provider, you can help educate families about the services they can choose from – such as a traditional viewing prior to cremation.
In particular, many families would welcome the opportunity to discuss their options for a ceremony. A 2015 FAMIC study revealed that most respondents (86%) would have a ceremony if they were to choose cremation. By sharing the many ways they can memorialize their loved ones, you’ll be able to provide an even greater service to families who choose cremation services.
THEY PREFER CREMATION FOR MANY DIFFERENT REASONS.
Most families who choose cremation do so for reasons other than price. According to a 2015 Homesteaders survey, 56% of policy owners who chose cremation cited other reasons such as personal preference and the fact that others in their family have been cremated.
Asking questions about a family’s motivation for choosing cremation can help you provide more meaningful service options for them. They’ll appreciate that you took the time to understand what’s important to them and to explain how your firm can accommodate their preferences in a way that creates an impactful tribute to their loved one.
THEY’RE THINKING ABOUT THE FUTURE.
People who prefer cremation don’t take this choice lightly – in fact, their decision may even be a catalyst for them to prearrange. The 2015 FAMIC study also showed that 40% of respondents said it’s most important to prearrange for cremation services. This connection brings up another talking point for families who are interested in advance funeral planning – it offers a way to ensure that their wishes will be carried out.
Clients who prefer cremation aren’t just thinking about their own memorialization – they’re also considering how their funeral service choices will impact future generations. In a 2015 survey of policy owners, 13% of respondents chose “environmentally friendly” as the main reason they selected cremation for their advance funeral plans. “Environmentally friendly” was also cited as a key reason for choosing cremation in a 2015 study of Homesteaders policy owners. People who prefer cremation because of environmental concerns may also be interested in learning about your firm’s other environmentally sound practices and offerings.
THEY CARE ABOUT TRADITION, TOO.
In the FAMIC study, “family tradition” was cited as a reason for choosing cremation. Embalming and burial is often thought of as the traditional choice, but as the cremation rate increases, so does the likelihood that cremation will be chosen because others in a person’s family have been cremated. In this way, cremation may become a new tradition for families.
A preference for cremation doesn’t eliminate the possibility of incorporating other longstanding funeral customs. Cremation offers additional time for families and funeral professionals to plan creative sendoffs that honor these cherished traditions in new ways.
THEY’RE INTERESTED IN LASTING MEMORIALIZATION.
In addition to being interested in carrying on traditions, families who choose cremation are also likely to be receptive to information about permanent memorials. The FAMIC study revealed that 59% of respondents aged 40+ were involved in planning a funeral with cremation in which a permanent memorial was used, such as a flat, ground-level monument or plaque.
Be sure to discuss all relevant options available to families who choose cremation, including burying ashes in a plot and scattering remains during another ceremony to be held at a later date. Whether or not a family selects a permanent memorial, you can help them plan a high-value experience that they will remember for years.