Myth vs. Reality of Collaboration Software: Having Nothing to Discuss
December 21, 2020
Funeral home software has many myths surrounding it, and this article sheds light on a popular one!
By Chris Gomez, Director of Product Marketing
Families have changed over the years, especially with their buying preferences.
For example, think about how Christmas shopping went for you this year. Did you do a lot of online shopping? Did you also go to a few stores? And did you opt for a blended experience – doing some research online, and then finishing your purchase in-store?
Like you, the families you serve are accustomed to having the option to shop online or in person or a blend of both. That means that there has never been a better time to incorporate online planning options into your at-need arrangement process. In fact, with the right technology, you and your families can easily communicate online and keep everyone on your team in the loop!
There are a lot of misconceptions out there about using software in a funeral home with families. I want to take a moment to address these concerns and share what the data actually shows based on hundreds of thousands of at-need cases in Passare. I’ve already addressed the following myths:
Now let’s move on to the final myth!
The Myth: If funeral directors work with families online, they’ll have nothing to discuss during arrangement conferences.
We’ve heard this question a lot from funeral directors, “As I gather vital statistics from the family, I ask questions and get to know about their loved one. What would I talk about if they complete information themselves before they come in?” We understand that time spent face to face with a family is important, especially these days. But we’ve also heard this from funeral directors, “With so much going on, I don’t always have enough time to brainstorm creative ideas or spend as much time as I would like to with the family.” We think these questions are important to address, and the good thing about these two issues is that they can both be solved at the same time!
Scenario 1: Asking Questions During the Arrangement Conference
Let’s say you decide to not incorporate collaboration software into your arrangements. You’ll meet with a family, ask the important questions, gather vital statistics, and learn a little bit more about the loved one. But then you might encounter a different problem: a short window of time to prepare a funeral or memorial that’s truly special. And what else do you have to do during or after the arrangement conference? Fill out paperwork, retype or scan documents into a case management system, and miss out on offering truly custom options for families.
But what if the paperwork was done ahead of time?
Scenario 2: Using Collaboration Software to Handle the Paperwork
Let’s say you’ve received vital statistics, obituary information, and a few service preferences from the family before the arrangement conference. You have looked it over ahead of time and feel like you already know this family. You can still go over the information they provided to verify everything is correct and ask the same questions you always ask. The only difference? You don’t have to fill out the paperwork and worry about making a mistake. You can be prepared to show them their options for services and merchandise that fit into their stated preferences. You can spend more time talking about the loved one and thinking of ways to honor the life.
In the second scenario, you’re gaining a huge opportunity to connect with families in a more meaningful way and on a deeper level. You’ll also have more precious time to truly customize the service and spend more time doing what you were trained to do: serve families well.
And if you’re thinking, “I don’t want to make my families do ‘homework’ by working with me online,” I understand. But the good news is that families don’t see it that way! In fact, many like the option to work online! Here’s a fact: our system shows that 1 in 2 families who are invited to collaborate online will do so. If they choose not to, they will at least appreciate seeing the questions ahead of time, like the families in this story.
How the Planning Center Helps
What would you give if you could have more quality time with families? When we set out to develop the Planning Center, we worked with funeral directors to develop tools that would help them to be efficient with their time without sacrificing that level of personal service.
Instead of wasting time retyping information into multiple systems, uploading documents, scanning and printing copies, correcting mistakes, and then planning the service or memorial, you can make the most of your time by working with families online ahead of time and then helping families plan a healing and meaningful service when they are with you in person.
Ready to see what it’s like to collaborate with families online? See the Planning Center for yourself!
The Collaboration Software Series