By Andrea Resnick, Director of Channel Development for Sympathy Brands, Parent Company to Cemetery.com, eCondolence.com and shiva.com.
When a family loses a loved one, the decision of which funeral home to work with is about so much more than arranging a service. It is about finding someone they can trust to guide them through an unbearably vulnerable and difficult time. While the funeral service may only last a few days, the grief that accompanies that loss will last a lifetime.
Aftercare was created in acknowledgment that families need support beyond the funeral service. Well-positioned to provide these services, few funeral homes actually do, for a number of reasons including, limited resources such as staff, technology, and the belief that it is too time-consuming, expensive, or outside of their purview. There is also the ideology that families do not want to hear from their funeral home as it may heighten emotions and remind them of their loss.
Historically, Aftercare has been viewed by the funeral industry as an engagement following the funeral service. When families do not respond to an initial phone call or email, the correspondence usually ceases.
Rather than focusing on Aftercare as a single touchpoint, viewing it as continued support provides a personal, comprehensive, and automated solution for industry leaders seeking ways to help the families they serve by providing a holistic model of care that helps humanize the experience of loss.
Funeral homes are the optimal vehicle for continued support services through Aftercare. Not only do they have the unique ability to properly offer this kind of support, but even more importantly, they have already built trust and rapport with families.
Viewing Aftercare as continued support allows families to ongoingly feel the comfort they felt during their initial meeting with the funeral home. Additionally, it is additive for funeral homes, as continued support affords them the opportunity to have more consistent customer touchpoints that help build long-lasting relationships with mourners, and create opportunities to build referral networks with tangential service providers in the community.
The impact of grief on mourners and their community is monumental and long-lasting. Expanding Aftercare to include continued support allows funeral homes to assert themselves as leaders in the community and ensure families are cared for and ensure families are comforted.
About Andrea Resnick
Andrea Resnick is Director of Channel Development for Sympathy Brands’ Funeral and Cemetery Group.
A licensed funeral director, and the fourth generation of her family to join the end-of-life industry, Resnick joined Sympathy Brands after serving nearly a decade as Director of Operations at Sinai Chapels, a family-owned and operated Jewish funeral home located in Queens, New York. Her unique perspective from working in funeral home operations offers partners a hands-on and thoughtful approach to modernizing their business.
About Sympathy Brands
The Sympathy Brands portfolio includes eCondolence.com, shiva.com and Cemetery.com that connects families and funeral homes through the stages of planning, service, and aftercare with its content, proprietary Viewneral® technology, and nationwide concierge services. The companies provide a modern approach to end-of-life matters. Please visit Cemetery.com™, eCondolence.com™, and shiva.com™ for more information.