Using Collaboration Software with Families: Myth vs. Reality

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There has never been a better time to incorporate online collaboration into your at-need planning process, and with the right software, you, your team, and your families can connect from anywhere!

By Chris Gomez, Director of Product Marketing

These days, consumers want a blended experience with businesses, meaning they want to be able to do research or make purchases online and/or in stores. The families you serve want the same experience, and this can be achieved with collaboration software.

The question is, do you have that option for families?

There has never been a better time to incorporate online collaboration into your at-need planning process, and with the right software, you, your team, and your families can connect from anywhere!

Collaboration Software: What is it?

tablet and phone screens on the passare home page

Collaboration software helps funeral directors communicate online with their families and staff as they work on at-need cases. This software:

  • Acts as a central communication hub, keeping notes, documents, and case information all in one convenient place.

  • Allows families to work remotely with you on the obituary, basic information, and service preferences.

  • Can be accessed anytime, from anywhere, using any device. Cloud-based access ensures staff and families can work on the case, anytime, anywhere.

Read more about collaboration software, including Passare’s Planning Center, HERE.

Common Misconceptions

Although collaboration software is still relatively new to the funeral industry, this technology is becoming more common. Some funeral directors are hesitant to use it and have a lot of questions, which we understand. Below are the top three misconceptions about collaboration software and the reality behind each myth, backed up by hundreds of thousands of cases in Passare.

The Myths

Myth 1: Funeral Directors lose that personal touch when they use collaboration software.

After hundreds of conversations with funeral professionals, this is the number one concern, and we get it. When families are going through something serious, they need the support of funeral staff to guide them through the funeral process, and no software can replace a compassionate funeral director! However, families want a “blended” experience, meaning they want to work with you in person and online, so you need to provide a tool that allows them to do that.

The Reality

When you use software to help families plan arrangements, you can actually dedicate MORE of your time to the families you serve. Collaboration software helps you save time,  collect vital statistics, share documents, and work on the obituary remotely so that when you do meet face to face, you can get right to helping them plan a healing, meaningful and personal ceremony for their loved one.

Read more about this myth HERE.

Myth 2: Families don't actually like collaborating online.

You might be thinking, “My families won’t use this! Nobody in my community wants to work online to plan a funeral.” Well, certain industry trends, such as a technological revolution and a dispersed society, have been silently driving change in the families you serve. In fact, the largest study ever conducted on funeral consumers revealed that there are six distinct types of funeral consumers, two of which (Solo Secularists and the Click & Callers) are most comfortable with a “blended” experience that includes both online and in-person interactions with businesses.

The Reality

Offering your families an online planning option gives you the opportunity to serve a growing number of consumers who either prefer to do business online or appreciate the option to work from home. Solo Secularists and Click & Callers want to collaborate online, and the largest study ever conducted on funeral consumers revealed these two types will grow to 1 out of 2 consumers in just a few years! That means more families are expecting to work with you online, and you should ensure you reach them. At Passare, we have found that when families are invited to collaborate, 1 out of 2 families will engage online with you in some way. Our goal is to help you give families who prefer online options the opportunity to plan in the way they are most comfortable!

Read more about this myth HERE.

Myth 3: If funeral directors work with families online, they'll have nothing to discuss.

For funeral directors, the face-to-face time with families during the arrangement conference is so important. After all, it’s how you learn about the family! But finding out about the loved one on the day of the arrangement conference means you have a tighter deadline to finish the paperwork, plan the details, and customize the service. What would you give for more time with families?

The Reality

Rather than fill out paperwork during the conference, use collaboration software! If the family types in vital statistics information, service preferences, and the obituary ahead of time, you can review the information as it comes in and feel like you already know the family by the time you see them. Plus, you’ll have more precious time to truly customize the service and spend more time doing what you were trained to do, which is serve families well.

Read more about this myth HERE.

The Planning Center: Collaboration Software for You

So, after learning the realities behind the myths, you’re probably wondering what technology is right for your funeral home…enter the Planning Center. Perfectly integrated and streamlined with our case management system, the Planning Center is a tool to help you do your job even better.

Here are the facts:

  • Streamline your communication and processes. Gather signatures electronically instead of emailing and scanning forms, upload photos, customize checklists for families, and offer families a guided experience from start to finish.

  • Spend more quality time with families. With administrative tasks out of the way, you can spend more time doing what you were trained to do: serve families with care and compassion.

  • Plan a truly custom service. When you work with families online ahead of time, you can plan a healing and meaningful service when they are with you in person, without a time crunch.

Read more about the benefits of the Planning Center HERE.

 

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