It’s no mystery – getting new software for your funeral home business can be scary.
Is your team going to buy in? What option do you go with? How will it impact your current processes? So many different questions that need to be answered.
This guide is designed to help you build a simpler framework that makes the selection process less intimidating, and more empowering.
Read on and follow this proven process to help you select the best funeral home software for your team.
When you make any decision in life, there are many people beyond yourself that are affected. The same principle applies when you are looking into new software for your funeral home. You will first want to create a spreadsheet and list out all key stakeholders that will be involved with the software.
Of all key stakeholders that will utilize your new software, your funeral home’s internal team and employees will arguably be the most involved. They are the centerpiece to your funeral home’s success and they complete several different daily tasks that include:
Your employees will be the first people to adopt your new software, so their insight and feedback will be vital. Without their buy-in, your software won’t have as big of an impact.
Ensure that all employees feel comfortable with the adjustment and they are excited about adopting the new tool to help with their workflow.
Next, you’ll need to make sure that your funeral home management software has a positive impact on your customers as well.
You need to accurately discern if the software will provide better (and more) value. Here are some questions to get you started:
If it’s possible, identify 3 or 4 “champion” families who fully trust your funeral home. Add them to your spreadsheet — ask them for their honest thoughts on potentially getting software to make the planning process easier.
We oftentimes face decisions and investments that require us to think beyond the current year.
For funeral home businesses, it’s the same case.
When looking for the best funeral home software for your team, you also need to make sure that it’s the best funeral home software for your business. Find a software program that is financially viable and offers a return on investment or time.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but if you’re involved with the investment, then you should ultimately find funeral management software that you like.
If you aren’t confident in the software that you’re trying to get your entire team to adopt, then you’re never going to be able to pull the trigger on a potentially life-changing resource for your funeral home.
You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
In order for you to see where your funeral home could be, you need to know where you’re currently at. You need to perform a quick analysis of your current setup. With the help of your team, identify what you like and what you would want to change.
You may be looking to switch from an existing software program, or you may not have one at all. Regardless, you can set up a quick survey, send it to your employees, and get key insights in less than one week.
For funeral homes with an existing software program, here are some different types of example questions you can ask:
For funeral homes that don’t have an existing software program, here are some example questions you can ask:
Creating a comparison chart benefits your entire team because it allows you to clearly see where opportunities exist for you to improve your funeral home’s processes.
From there, it becomes much easier to generate new, tangible goals that can take your funeral home to the next level.
There are several different funeral home software options available, so it’s important for you to clearly define your primary goals and needs. Once they are defined, you’re able to refine your search and filter your research down to solutions that match exactly what you’re looking for. Some common examples of goals for funeral homes are below.
Funeral directors and service practitioners often juggle many different responsibilities at once. As a result, many problems can occur:
If you’re hoping to achieve simpler funeral home management, there are tools created to help you streamline the workflow for your employees and build better relationships with families.
If this specific goal aligns with what your team is needing, then you’re going to want to find a cloud-based funeral management platform that addresses some of the problems above.
While it was a more popular service during the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re learning that funeral service live streaming is becoming more of an expectation from families at this point.
Do you offer funeral live streaming?
If you don’t, it may be something you want to consider.
If you do and it’s not great, then you may want to explore ways that you can enhance the live streaming experience for your families.
Lucky for you, some of the best funeral home management platforms help you set up funeral live streaming too (typically at an additional cost).
If live streaming is a goal that your funeral home is looking to prioritize, make note of it and emphasize its importance when doing your research.
Have you ever had a scare with chain of custody? Maybe not, but others haven’t been quite as lucky.
Due to potential liability, you may want to explore ways to better manage your chain of custody and safeguard your funeral home’s reputation.
Some of the best funeral home software options are innovative and have created body tracking technology to help with this.
There are two situations listed below, which would you (and your team) rather have?
Situation A is the clear winner here.
You want to find software for your funeral home that makes the workday simpler for your team, not more cumbersome. The more of your workflow that you can consolidate, the quicker you will be able to complete tasks.
Moral of the story? Integrations make your team and business more efficient.
Because of this, you may want to find the best funeral home software that integrates seamlessly with your other business systems.
If you’ve previously invested in software to manage your funeral home, you may have been burned by the customer support that came with it.
People have positive experiences with customer support. Others have very poor experiences.
When we contact customer support, we often need a helpful (and timely) answer to a question that’s blocking us from completing an important task.
You may be looking for funeral home management software that provides top-tier support for your team. Without great support for your business tools, your operations can falter.
Once you’ve outlined some of the primary goals that you’re hoping to achieve with a new software solution, you can dive into the research phase. Be thorough in your investigation, it will help provide more confidence in your final decision.
When searching for the best funeral home software for your team, create a new spreadsheet. After identifying 3 or 4 of your main options, add them as separate rows in your spreadsheet. Then, add every important feature or benefit that will help your team achieve your desired goals as a separate column.
Once you’ve identified all key benefits that are important to you, weigh them based on importance. For example, you may give a 30% weight to ease of use, 20% weight to pricing, 25% weight to integrations, and the remaining 25% weight to the software’s ability to incorporate e-signatures with your families.
Once you’ve built out your comparison spreadsheet, you can then begin scoring each option. Move from each column one by one, and write down a score from 1 to 10 based on how well a software program fulfills your needs for a particular feature.
Once finished with your ratings, multiply the ratings by their weights for each appropriate criteria, and add up the totals at the end of your spreadsheet to see which option or row had the highest score.
Yes – your research and first impressions matter. But what are other people saying?
In addition to being incredibly intuitive, the best funeral home software programs are also incredibly reputable. For that reason, you will want to read online reviews and gauge the experiences of other funeral homes before making a final call.
Capterra, G2, and GetApp all provide great insights from other industry experts when it comes to software, so it’s recommended that you start there first. You can begin to compile real-world reviews, gain a clearer picture, and narrow down your options even more.
In addition to online reviews, you can go a step further and hear from other funeral homes directly. There are a few ways to accomplish this.
Go to the websites for the different software programs you’re considering. From there, look for a page that highlights case studies or success stories. Find two funeral homes (one recent and one less recent), and call them to talk about their experience with a particular software program.
If you’d prefer, you can also request referrals from software providers and they’ll provide you with a similar list of funeral homes to call.
Alternatively, you can use the online reviews you’ve found and call two funeral homes to hear their experiences as well – one funeral home that left a positive review, and one funeral home that left a negative review.
You’ll be surprised to learn how much insight can be provided from a few 5-minute phone conversations.
The only way you’re able to figure out if your team will enjoy new funeral home management software is by getting a first-hand glimpse of how it works.
After you’ve rated your funeral home software options and gained plenty of perspective from online reviews, narrow down your selection to your Top 3 choices (or Top 2, either works great).
Once you’ve selected your Top 3 choices for funeral home management software, here is what you will want to do:
From there, you and the team can review all choices and use the demo recordings to see if your team has a preference. This demo process can usually only take around 1 week to complete if coordinated successfully.
By creating a standardized process to help educate your investments, you’re equipping yourself with the proper tools to make your decision confidently and effectively.
So, you have put in the research on the best funeral home software options for your business. Now, you need to make your final decision.
Using this guide, your team can expedite your software research process and make a decision in 3 weeks or less. That’s a big win for your business because you’re maximizing your time! The more efficient you are with your time, the easier it is for you to move forward with other important operations and services.
With that being said, you are entitled to as much time as you need before making a final decision on the best funeral home software for your team.
While price should be an important factor when investing in the best funeral home software for your business, it should not be the only factor. There are many other factors to consider:
Plus, price is fluid. Prices are constantly fluctuating:
Final note here: if you put all of your eggs into the price basket and decide not to move forward with the software, then you could be missing out on a great opportunity.
If you don’t believe in your investment, no one will. When you’re selecting the best funeral home software for your team, you need to have full confidence in your decision.
You can also use tools like decision trees to help justify your final choice.
In one study cited by Harvard Business Review, 63% of managers claimed that the pace of technological change in their organizations was too slow, which could be pointed back to an overall lack of urgency and communication. In their eyes, people were not receiving any consistent communication about new tools and their strategic benefits.
What do you need to do once you’ve found the best funeral home software for your team?
Let people know!
Once you’ve made your final selection on a software program, you will want to communicate your final decision to all important stakeholders. You don’t need to communicate this investment to customers unless there are any customer-facing elements that will impact them directly.
However, you will absolutely want to relay this update to your team and your employees. Software rollout announcement templates and examples are available online. You can those tools to build an email blast or video that you can send to your employees.
In your announcement, show excitement for the new software and restate your commitment to support and help your team as they learn the ins and outs of the new software program.
You need to put a training program in place to help catch your team up to speed and get them to fully adopt your new funeral management software.
Luckily, most software providers offer training and support to help onboard your funeral home’s employees. In other cases, you can request additional training and support if your team needs more time to become familiar with the software.
You can use calendar events and a program like Google Docs to architect your training program and create a consistent training schedule for your team. That way, they are consistently sharpening their craft with your new software program.
Plus, most software providers also have a video library that they use to provide helpful training and tips for their software users.
You can leverage these tools to accelerate team buy-in, innovate better processes for your funeral home, and get a stronger impact out of your new software program.
As we talked about above, there are many different options available for your funeral home when it comes to software.
Our team at Gather has spent years diligently working to create the best funeral home software on the market.
Do your due diligence, and schedule a quick demo with our team today to see if our software is the right fit for you, your team, and your families, or give us a quick call at (866) 313-1601 with any questions you have.