Mike Nicodemus https://www.cremationsuccess.com Tue, 27 Sep 2022 15:58:36 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb How Staff Attitudes Can Drive Success With Cremation Families https://www.cremationsuccess.com/blog/item/35-how-staff-attitudes-can-drive-success-with-cremation-families https://www.cremationsuccess.com/blog/item/35-how-staff-attitudes-can-drive-success-with-cremation-families How Staff Attitudes Can Drive Success With Cremation Families


Many funeral homes have difficulty in getting their employees to think differently about the families they serve when that family has chosen cremation as their choice of disposition. Cremation does not mean Direct Disposal. Most families know one thing, they want cremation. Other than knowing that they desire cremation, they really have no idea just what they want.

This is where we, as funeral directors, fail in not offering services and options to those families so they know they have choices. Disposition by cremation does not have to be any different than disposition by burial. Staff training is so vitally important when it comes to having your employees understand how to better connect with your cremation families.

There are a number of things you, as the owner/manager, can do to ensure your employees are on board with your marketing procedures to provide cremation families with the information they need to make sound decisions. Communication is the key when your employees are making arrangements with a cremation family. Your employees must be equipped with the tools that raise their confidence level when dealing with the cremation family that wants a Direct Cremation.


Are they able to handle any question that may be presented to them, or do they just wing it and take a good guess at their answer? Does that family really understand, and do your employees really understand what Direct Cremation means? Probably not. I recently had a family that wanted Direct Cremation with burial of the cremated remains at sea. I took the time to get know about the decedent, job(s), interests in fishing, sports, etc., and I offered quite a few suggestions on how we could memorialize this gentleman’s life. By the end of the arrangements, the Direct Cremation with burial at sea, became a full service cremation with a visitation prior to the service in our chapel that included military honors with burial of a solid bronze military urn in Arlington National Cemetery. I made suggestions. I didn't talk them into anything they didn't want. They just didn't know they could do what we did. 

Recently, a friend and colleague visited 150 funeral homes and posed as a family member who was there to make arrangements for a loved one. The results were amazing. Among other issues they had with the funeral home employee, the biggest issue was that almost every funeral home apologized for the cost of cremation.

Why do funeral homes apologize for being on call 24/7/365 anymore? Today it takes longer to make arrangements with a cremation family than a burial family. Make sure you have practice sessions with your employees on handling phone shoppers and families that want nothing but Direct Cremation. Have them trained, knowledgeable, and ready to be as sharp with a cremation family as they would be with a family that called and asked how many copper caskets you have on hand.

Provide your staff with the skills they need to drive success and help increase profits. Remember, it’s costs you nothing to be nice to your employees. A simple, “Job well Done” can go a long way in helping that employee feel that what they are doing adds value to the company and gives them the confidence they need knowing they have the support of their Boss.


mikenicodemus@cox.net (Mike Nicodemus) Cremation & Funeral Blog Fri, 21 Jun 2013 00:00:00 +0000
Why Inspecting Your 3rd Party Cremation Provider Will Help You Stay Out Of a Court Of Law https://www.cremationsuccess.com/blog/item/34-why-inspecting-your-3rd-party-cremation-provider-will-help-you-stay-out-of-a-court-of-law https://www.cremationsuccess.com/blog/item/34-why-inspecting-your-3rd-party-cremation-provider-will-help-you-stay-out-of-a-court-of-law Why Inspecting Your 3rd Party Cremation Provider Will Help You Stay Out Of a Court Of Law

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.

Funeral Directors can be held accountable for the actions or the inactions of their 3rd Party Provider if they have not practiced Due Diligence. What is Due Diligence? It is the review and inspection of a crematory’s internal operating procedures to ensure that the crematory handles cremations in compliance with established policies and procedures.  Failure to practice Due Diligence is deemed irresponsible by a court of law. In this case scenario, you had nothing to do with what took place at the crematory, but you WILL be named in the lawsuit.

That is why you need to inspect your 3rd Party Provider twice a year and be sure the inspection is unannounced so you can witness exactly how they operate. If you don’t, you are already on the wrong side of the plaintiff’s expert witness, and the court. Right or wrong, you will, have to obtain legal counsel to defend the accusations levied against you, and that can become very expensive.

If you have a Due Diligence file on hand at your funeral home that will establish that you made the effort to inspect the crematory that you hired to perform your cremations which may help in the reduction of your liability, but you make no effort to inspect your 3rd Party Provider, that won’t sit well. The littlest mistake may end up costing you thousands in legal fees alone, not to mention the bad publicity that will be sure to follow from the press. It can no longer be business as usual. Inspecting your 3rd Party Provider costs you nothing but your time, but not inspecting can cost you plenty.

mikenicodemus@cox.net (Mike Nicodemus) Cremation & Funeral Blog Sat, 29 Jun 2013 20:19:14 +0000