Nicodemus & Associates | Cremation & Funeral Consulting

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05 Sep

Across the country for funeral service students and interns, course topics have ranged from anatomy and pathology to management, embalming, and restorative arts; yet funeral programs have not traditionally emphasized details regarding cremation or cremation services.  In my opinion, much of the curriculum is still geared toward the traditional funeral service even though the percentage of those choosing cremation for final disposition has risen to 44% in 2013, per CANA.  With these percentages rising, students and funeral directors must know what steps to take in assisting those who have chosen cremation for their loved one. 

Funeral services and preservation began during ancient Egyptian times and have been substantially progressing ever since.  The traditional funeral service included embalming of the body and/or burial whereas cremation was frowned upon.  Cremation was considered cheap, unethical, and in some religions it was simply just not allowed.  It was not until the 1980’s that cremation became more popular.  Cremation is now accepted in the Catholic faith, younger people who pass away prefer cremation, and families are finding it comforting and convenient to have grandma at home on the mantle.  Regardless of the reason for a family choosing cremation, the profession must accept and adapt to changing conceptions.  As a funeral service intern, I notice that many funeral directors personally prefer burials vs. cremation, especially the older generation directors.  As funeral directors, it is our main purpose to serve the families of the deceased and abandon our personal agendas. 

29 Jun

Inspecting your 3rd Party Provider is not only important, it is imperative, and let me tell you why. Let’s say you handled the requests of a family that has chosen cremation and you did everything exactly by the book. You deliver the decedent to the crematory and you are informed they cannot do the cremation for another day or two. Instead of taking the decedent back to the funeral home you leave them at the crematory.

The family calls looking for the cremated remains and you inform them the crematory was busy and the cremation would take place in another day or two. Upon completion of the cremation you receive the urn from the crematory and call the family to inform them the urn is at your funeral home. When the family arrives, the urn is not the same one they selected.The family becomes upset and demands to know why the cremation took so long and why they received the wrong urn. After spending a few hours (or longer) trying to figure out what happened, you return the cremated remains to the family in the right urn. As time passes, the family begins to question if they have the right cremated remains.

The family consults an attorney and a lawsuit is now filed naming the crematory…your 3rd Party Provider… and you…the funeral home as defendants.

25 Jun

“What is Customer Service?”  By breaking down the words “customer” and “service,” we refer to Webster for the official definition.  Webster defines the words as follows:

Customer: One that purchases a commodity or service.  An individual usually having some specified distinctive trait.

Service:  The occupation or function of serving. The work that is performed by one that serves.

I think Webster makes this sound a little confusing.  Perhaps that is why there is such poor customer service in the world today – very few actually understand what customer service really is, or means.  So, let me clear it up for you in simple terms and give you my definition of customer service:

Customer:  The one who is paying your salary.

Service:  Taking care of.

By my definition then, customer service is “taking care of the one who is paying your salary.”  It’s just that simple.

Regardless of what business you are in, customer service is always defined the same way.  However, some of the behaviors that are used to “take care of the one who is paying your salary” may be different.

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Nicodemus & Associates

Mail: 1633 Lucia Ct Virginia Beach, VA 23455
Telephone: (757) 460-3299