This post is the second of two covering what funeral home software must look like and do in the future. These two posts are the result of dozens of interviews with funeral directors over a multi-year period, delving into identifying trends and defining key pain points. In this, we have found that three broad categories of needs emerge.
Funeral Home Software must:
This post covers the second two of the three broad categories of needs that emerged. The first of the two posts, 13 Things All Funeral Home Software Must Have in the Future, can be found here.
Funeral home software of the future must allow families to collaboratively plan an entire funeral while spending minimal time talking with the funeral director or in the funeral home itself.
1. Families are looking for additional options for communicating with the funeral home. Ideally, they want to be able to use the same technologies and approaches that are already a natural part of their daily lives. We need to meet them where they are comfortable. Especially in a time of Covid-19, families are looking for alternative ways of providing facts like date of birth, place of birth, etc. for their departed loved one that don’t necessarily require being physically present in the funeral home. Funeral home software of the future must allow them to do this on their phone, tablet, or computer whenever they have a quiet moment.
2. Funeral home software must also allow the family to collaboratively put together the obituary and the program without the incessant back and forth of phone calls, emails, and texts that we use today.
3. The software must provide the family one single point of contact for everything related to the funeral. They should no longer be required to independently interface with the florist, the monument company, the cemetery, and others. Funeral home software of the future must allow for automated, seamless communication between the funeral home and all these entities on behalf of the family.
4. The software must provide an interactive digital showroom for everything families could possibly need in conjunction with a funeral – from caskets, to flowers, to monuments, to limousine service, to dove releases, memory photo books and more.
5. Funeral home software of the future should take care of all the administrative items associated with the passing of a loved one such as freezing credit, canceling online accounts, deleting or memorializing social media accounts, etc. It should also help families find any unclaimed property or insurance policies they were unaware of. All of this should be white labeled as automated services coming directly from the funeral home taking care of these things on behalf of the family.
The funeral industry is moving away from traditional funerals at an increasingly rapid pace. This is putting tremendous pressure on the financial model for successfully running a funeral home. In an ideal world, funeral home software of the future must help provide more services, control costs, and provide additional revenue streams – all without adding to the burdens of already stretched funeral home employees.
6. Functionality such as the ability to sign paperwork electronically should be embedded into funeral home software at no additional cost to funeral homes or the families they serve.
7. Add on services that have traditionally been provided manually by funeral home employees should be included as standard in the software. For example, a photo record of all condolence cards matched to floral arrangements should be included in the software at no extra charge to the funeral home.
8. Funeral home software of the future should provide the ability for credit card processing and then pass on the resulting lower transaction fees that are the result of a larger overall aggregated volume from multiple users of the system. The software should also automatically allow for, and track payments from, multiple payers for a single case.
9. Finally, funeral home software of the future must integrate live streaming of services into its bundle. Covid-19 has accelerated the need for this, but even after we control the virus, the industry must continue to offer these services. The hardware must be simple to use – turn it on and it works. There must be the ability to stream from anywhere, not just a funeral chapel or some other fixed location. This includes being able to stream a graveside service with the quality and dignity that such a service deserves. And the resulting stream must run on the funeral home’s or provider’s website avoiding the distractions and noise of popular universal video streaming sites.
To learn how Gather can help your funeral home better serve families in our rapidly changing world please visit www.Gather.app or call (888) 492-2697 to chat with one of our experts.
Gather is an innovative case management platform and live streaming solution built specifically for funeral homes. We love funeral directors and firmly believe that helping families through the loss of a loved one is one of the noblest professions. Our vision is to give funeral directors a seamless solution that helps both the funeral home and the families they serve.
With Gather, you can get started live streaming in as little as two days and get started with case management in just two weeks.