Sure, it’s probably not too difficult to get your funeral home set up to livestream funeral services. There are several different vendors that can help you livestream funeral services, or you can follow a ‘DIY’ path and livestream funeral services with free platforms.
But at some point, you’ll have to ask the tough question – is your current livestreaming strategy truly setting you up for success?
Get your answer by walking through some of the questions in our guide below.
When you are aiming to build a successful livestreaming setup for your funeral home business, you need to consider how your team will fit into the equation. Consider some of the following factors.
Think about it – you’re likely equipping your team with new technology. Ensure that it’s easy for them to learn and use. If your current equipment runs into technical issues often or isn’t easy to learn, then you’ll end up with frustrated employees. According to Unisys and Access Perks, employees are 450% more likely to leave your company if you are a “technological laggard”.
Do you use your phone to record and download livestreamed funeral services for your families? If so, you may be doubling your work (and confusion) when you livestream funeral services.
If possible, have dedicated equipment that is used for livestreaming only. That way, your team is able to:
While it’s important to find a livestreaming kit that works well for your team, it’s equally important to create a livestreaming option that works well for your funeral home business.
In the world of business management, it’s important to invest in tools and systems that provide a return on your investment, or an ROI. Does your current funeral livestreaming system provide an ROI for your funeral home?
Funeral home businesses debate whether or not to include an additional fee for the funeral livestreaming option that they provide to families.
Let’s say that your livestreaming setup (including equipment) costs around $300 per month, and you provide services for 40 families per month. Let’s go further – half of those families (20) let you know in the arrangement conference that they would like you to livestream the funeral services.
If you include even a small $30 fee to livestream the funeral services for each of those 20 families, then your livestreaming setup would provide you $600 in gross monthly profit – a 2x ROI.
When you invest in new technology to provide a better experience for families, a small fee is exactly what it sounds like to families – a small, justifiable expense that will help them honor their loved ones for years to come. They won’t fault you for working to give them a more meaningful experience, especially if it allows other family members and close friends to watch the services when they can’t attend in person.
Is it worth it (and reasonable) for you to charge a small fee for the added value you are providing, to keep your business profitable, and stay flexible for families? In our opinion, it is.
If you directly manage your funeral home, you rarely have time to organize your finances by yourself. Most of the time, you likely have an accountant or bookkeeper to help manage your revenue and expenses.
Some livestreaming systems have simple monthly charges to use their software and equipment. Other systems charge fees per camera, charge for customer support, and only offer annual contracts. Other systems don’t provide any equipment at all.
To make your life (and your bookkeeper’s life) easier, it is recommended to find a vendor that follows a simple, predictable pricing structure. That way, you are able to avoid wasting time finding surprise charges or invoices in the future.
While new tech is exciting, there will still be a learning curve. Because of that, the system that you livestream funeral services with should include some form of customer support. If possible, find a vendor that offers unlimited support at no extra cost for every funeral livestream that your team is trying to set up.
At the end of the day, families are the reason why people join the industry. We pride ourselves on being able to offer comfort and help families through the process of grieving the loss of their loved ones.
By offering to livestream funeral services for families, you’re ultimately helping people who aren’t able to watch the funeral services in person or would prefer to go back and watch the services later. You need to guarantee a seamless experience for those guests, too.
Video and sound quality are important to a high-quality funeral livestream. For video quality, 1080 resolution (HD) is considered an industry standard and can be achieved with most mobile devices. If you want to create a crisper and clearer picture for livestream viewers, you’ll want to find a cost-effective camera that shoots in 4K (ultra HD).
In addition to video quality, also pay attention to sound. You’ll want to use a directional microphone that helps capture eulogies and every intimate moment when you livestream funeral services.
How does this all tie back to the livestream experience for families? Over 50% of viewers will leave a livestream in 90 seconds or less if it is poor quality.
The easier it is for guests to join their loved one’s funeral service livestream, the happier they’ll be. Make the process as simple as possible. Don’t add additional hoops required logins or account creation – this will only frustrate people more.
Have you ever heard of “zoom bombing”? In the past, funeral homes that have used Zoom to livestream funerals have not properly monitored the people who enter and comment on funeral livestreams.
The consequences of this flaw can be catastrophic, ranging from random internet trolls posting memes during the livestreams, all the way to internet hackers bombarding livestream feeds with racist comments and homophobic slurs.
It is recommended that you invest in a setup that is going to be secure, reliable, and monitored for every funeral service that you decide to livestream.
Families will often ask your funeral home how they can view the funeral service livestreams after the services have concluded. Since this is a popular request, your funeral home needs to make the livestream easily accessible for families and loved ones.
There are a few options that we brainstormed:
While Option 2 is more efficient for you time-wise, either option is sufficient here. Be careful though – some livestreaming platforms only hold onto the digital video files for a certain amount of time. There are other options available that allow you to store the video file online forever.
With your livestream setup, are you able to personalize each funeral livestream to match the legacy of each decedent? For example, some systems allow you to create a custom online memorial page where families can watch the livestream, upload photos of their loved one, and post condolences all on the same page.
By finding ways to personalize the funeral livestream, you’re working to create a unique and memorable experience, whether or not people are able to attend their loved one’s funeral services in person.
Consumers rarely enjoy seeing an ad when they are watching a video. Ensure that advertisements can’t be displayed on your livestreams.
Music licensing is also a common barrier that funeral homes run into when livestreaming funeral services on public platforms such as Facebook Live or YouTube Live because they do not recognize the funeral home music license and can block streams. As long as the funeral home has followed the NFDA’s music and webcasting licensing regulations, then you should be good to go.
Sometimes, families prefer to hold private funeral services for close family and friends only. Because of that, families who want the services to be livestreamed will likely want to make the livestream private.
Are you able to switch your livestreams to private or invite-only for family members? If not, it may be something you want to consider down the road.
Let’s say that families would prefer not to livestream services at the funeral home. Is your livestreaming equipment and setup portable? If not, you may be limited to only offering funeral livestreaming at a single location instead.
Instead of going with a livestreaming setup that is built into your single location, aim to find a livestreaming solution (and equipment) that can ultimately travel with you anywhere you go, especially if families need that capability. It will help you be more flexible, and it may also help your funeral home bring in more potential business.
Sure, you may have full access to support when attempting to livestream funeral services. But do your families have that same level of support when they run into technical difficulties during the livestream?
If not, you may be missing out on a big piece that ties back into the family experience when you livestream funerals.
If families are unable to join the livestream in the middle of the services, they need a support team that they can quickly contact to resolve their issues. Most of the time, you will not have enough time to help and manage people who experience technical difficulties during livestreams. As a result, those people can become frustrated quickly.
To prevent something like this from happening, you need to partner with a vendor who provides a support team not only for you, but also for families and close friends who are trying to directly view livestreams.
Regardless of what your livestreaming setup looks like, you need to make sure that it’s a setup that works for everyone – your team, your business, and the families you help.
Funeral homes love using Gather to livestream funeral services.
Curious to see what you get when you livestream funeral services with us? Schedule a free demo with our team today and see how you can set your funeral home up for more success when it comes to livestreaming.