Sympathy Brands | Digital Care Ecosystem for the Deathcare Industry


Choices. For many, having a wide selection of choices may feel like a gift, for others, too many choices can be taxing. 

Research has estimated that adults make approximately 35,000 decisions daily. Many great leaders work to minimize decision fatigue by removing choices, including Steve Jobs wearing the same outfit daily and Warren Buffet eating similar meals.

Navigating end-of-life matters tend to be highly stressful times for families. Three opportunities for funeral homes to help simplify choice to reduce stress include:

  1. Offer packages. Packages, allowable in many states, offer families many benefits and streamline decision making. Packaging services help guide families into making approachable, simpler decisions. This alleviates the stress of making selections for every item involved in planning a funeral. Funeral home packages also help families focus on options within a price range comfortable for them. As an added benefit,  packages afford funeral homes an opportunity to incorporate services and merchandise a family may not have selected if presented as a GPL line item. Overall packages often provide the family with immediate value and strengthen their trust with the funeral home. 

  2. Limit choices. Reducing available options helps reduce decision paralysis. A study conducted in a grocery store showed the difference in conversion rates when choices were limited. Some days a grocery offered 24 varieties of jam, while on other days, only 6 flavors were sold. When presented with more options, only 4% of people purchased jam, while 31% of people bought jam on days where they had fewer options available. 

    Funeral homes simplify the selection process by narrowing options for families as they purchase merchandise, including caskets and urns. For example, if a family prefers an oak casket, it benefits them to see one casket option rather than three, helping them streamline decision making. For families who may be less certain of casket types or qualities, offering 5 distinctive choices will help them visualize key features, such as wood type, color or corners. A best practice is to always have additional options available online or in your casket selection book to offer additional exterior and interior choices.   

  3. Set expectations. The unknown often introduces stress to situations. End-of-life planning is a very emotional time for families regardless of whether this is the first funeral they have planned. Preparing families for what is to come is one of the most beneficial actions your funeral home can take. Letting families know what to expect at every step, including what to bring to the arrangement meeting and what statistical information is required, reassures the family and helps build immediate trust. Go the extra mile and communicate any Aftercare services you provide, and available monument options.  Setting expectations of what is to come provides comfort to the family, allows them to focus on their emotions and mourning,  and eases the burden caused by the unknown.

Another way to help ease decision making is through pre-planning. Funeral homes can provide education on the benefits of pre-planning and streamline the process from education and planning through to communication to reduce both the emotional and financial stress of navigating end-of-life matters.

Whether you consider one of these options, all of them, or others, helping families simplify the decision making process will create a more supportive experience for the families.

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