The Top 4 Benefits of the All-New Planning Center
December 03, 2020
Though there are many, these are the top 4 benefits of the Planning Center, a tool that connects funeral staff and families during the funeral planning process.
By Chris Gomez, Director of Product Marketing
Helping your families plan a meaningful service or tribute is one of the most valuable acts you do as a funeral professional. However, one of the biggest challenges in the funeral profession today is communication with families. Sometimes your families don’t want to come in right away to plan because they may be dispersed or have family members from out of town. Or they can’t seem to line up their schedules to meet with you to plan the service. Whatever the case may be, we’ve developed a way for you to easily communicate and work together with your families online and still make YOU the guide in the conversation, and it’s called the Planning Center.
Referred to as the Collaboration Center until recently, the Planning Center is a tool that allows funeral professionals and families the option to collaborate and plan a funeral anytime, anywhere, even with out-of-town and dispersed families. With case management syncing and an all-new eSignature integration, documents and file storage, resources, checklists, and real-time collaboration, everything a funeral director and family could need is in one location.
Let’s take a look at the top 4 benefits you can experience with the Planning Center and how it helps when communication becomes a challenge:
1. Help your families plan anytime, anywhere.
According to a study done by Passare and McKee Wallwork + Co., families are more dispersed than ever, which poses a challenge for you if you don’t have an option to communicate and collaborate with families from anywhere.
We hear these statements from funeral directors a lot: “Out-of-town families can’t come in because they want to wait for a more convenient time that works around their routines,” and “Family members need to get their schedules lined up to come in for the arrangement meeting.” That’s where the Planning Center comes in.
Funeral directors can send a link to the family to access the Planning Center, then the family can get started with filling out some basic information. The best part? Family members don’t have to be in the same town to begin taking care of the basic information. They can do this from any location on any internet-connected device. Then, by the time they come in for the arrangement, you’ll have collected the basic information, and you can focus on planning a more meaningful tribute or personalized service.
2. Keep your files and important documents in one place.
Your families call you, leave messages, send emails back and forth with attached documents and photos, and so on, which can result in miscommunications surrounding phone calls, texts, missed messages, lost sticky notes, and too many emails. When all of your communication is scattered across a variety of platforms and people, it’s inevitable that details will get missed.
With the Planning Center, those issues are resolved. The Planning Center brings all that communication into one convenient place, AND it integrates seamlessly into your case management system, your third-party software systems, your business analytics, your accounting services, and your reporting systems.
In short, with the Planning Center, you are able to outsource the paperwork portion of the arrangement conference to a computer, so that you can focus on what only you can do, which is plan and personalize the service for the unique life that has been lived. Because honestly, your time as a funeral director is much too valuable to be spent filling out forms.
3. The Planning Center is easy for you and your families to use.
Most funeral directors tell us that Passare’s software is easy to use, even for those who are not comfortable with computers. We believe that if we want to be able to help families during their time of grief and loss, our software needs to be as easy to use as possible.
That is why the Planning Center is designed to guide families through the process of collecting information, planning the basics of a service, and learning how to personalize the event. This simple, three-step process and user-friendly design of the program make the Planning Center easy for families to use during one of the most difficult times of their lives.
4. Share reliable and helpful resources with your families.
We all know there is a lot of misinformation on the internet about funerals. That’s another area where the Planning Center can help.
The Planning Center contains access to the best resources available written by grief and industry experts. Those planning a funeral for the first time will benefit from a wide range of resources that cover how to plan a healing and meaningful funeral. You can share specific articles or videos with your families, or they can explore an online library of planning resources, including articles and examples to help them plan a meaningful service. In their free time or simply if they want to, they can learn about different aspects of the funeral and grief processes on their own time, while also turning to you, the expert, for help.
The Planning Center is For You
The Planning Center is primarily for you and for the families you serve. I’m often asked if we intend the Planning Center to replace the funeral director. The answer is absolutely not! No software could ever replace the personal service you offer to families. The Planning Center is simply available to support your work as a funeral director: to improve communication, enhance collaboration, increase options for families, and help you save time on the paperwork. With the Planning Center, you can stop worrying about missing an important detail in a myriad of phone messages, text messages, emails, and sticky notes, and instead do what only you can do: be there for the families you serve, however and whenever they need you.
See the Planning Center for yourself by taking a self-guided tour!
The Collaboration Software Series