How can you give people clear simple information about the likely cost of the funeral they are organising?
It sounds easy but in practice it can be the hardest thing in the world. How do you listen, share, sympathise and support people in all sorts of distress? How do you help them start to shape the funeral they need to create and, at the same time, in all the emotion of the meeting, keep them up to date on the cost consequences of the choices they are making?
Vulnerable and bewildered, people are rarely at their best as consumers. It is a situation ripe with opportunities – for the outstanding and exceptional support the best provide and for the uneccessary additions and charges that the less scrupulous slip in.
But there is an alternative. A couple of weeks ago we featured a TV advertisement for Basic funerals of Canada. You can find it here if you’d like a refresher.
Basic Funerals, as part of it’s internet based approach, also has a page that allows you to calculate the cost of the funeral you are buying. The page is here. This is a screenshot.
We believe that this is emerging best practice. Without pressure it gives people the chance to look at costs and make choices. It is wonderfully transparent.
There are UK funeral directors who are also leading the way. Although they are not internet based service providers they are using their websites to help their customers do their research before they walk through the door.
Have a look at these sites for an idea of what can be done:
Sullivan and Sons of Dover: http://www.sullivanandson.co.uk/Costs.html
Kingfisher Funerals of St. Neots: http://kingfisherfunerals.co.uk/estimate.html
Powell and Family of Droitwich: http://www.powellandfamily.co.uk/funeral-cost-calculator
Peace Funerals of Sheffield: http://www.peacefunerals.co.uk/Lowcost.html
Richard Ward Funeral Services of Enderby: http://www.rwfs.co.uk/prices_comparisons.php
Of course, once you start this internet pricing, it allows you to draw comparisons with your competitors. Richard Ward does it. So – to devastating effect – does Powell and Family. Have a look at their page (the screenshot doesn’t do them justice, but click on it to go to the site itself):
These can’t be the only ones. In our mission to celebrate the best in the funeral industry, who else is out there using their website to provide real information and real choice? Or using other methods we’re not aware of? Let us know – we’d love to write their names large.