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Why Client Reviews Are Important for Family-Owned Funeral Homes

Should you write a review for your funeral home? Find out why client reviews are so important for local family-owned funeral homes.
Why Client Reviews Are Important for Family-Owned Funeral Homes
Why Client Reviews Are Important for Family-Owned Funeral Homes

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After losing a loved one and making funeral arrangements you may be going through a lot of emotions. The professionals that are helping you through it all can have a profound impact on the experience. The way funeral homes conduct business can make saying goodbye to a loved one much easier or more difficult. 

Recently, we provided advice on writing a review for a funeral home, which is never an easy undertaking. However, it’s quite possibly the most important review you’ll ever write for a number of reasons, especially if you choose a family-owned funeral home. Here’s why client reviews make such a big difference for local, family-owned funeral homes.  

Why Writing Reviews About Local Funeral Homes is Important for the Community

We should begin by saying that funeral home reviews are important in general for one very good reason – they help others make a very critical decision. An end-of-life decision that isn’t easy to make. 

Honest reviews of funeral homes of any kind help other people tremendously. Most people have to choose a funeral home without much notice or prior knowledge about the process. On top of that, there’s a lot riding on the decision. Being able to read reviews about the experiences of others can help make the decision a lot easier. 

Think of funeral home reviews like a community resource. Because it’s going to be the people in the immediate area that need the funeral home’s services the most. Also, family-owned funeral homes that are locally-based have often been a part of their communities for years. The funeral directors are friends and neighbors that truly understand the families that need their help, but client reviews help them provide even better service. In that way, funeral home reviews are almost a public service.

Why Client Reviews Are Critical for Local, Family-Owned Funeral Homes

At one time, basically all funeral homes were family-owned. Today, that isn’t the case. Many funeral homes that were once family-owned have been bought out by large corporations and are now basically franchise operations. The latest data shows that around 21% of funeral homes are owned by corporations, not families and funeral directors.

There are a lot of differences between family-owned funeral homes and corporate-owned funeral homes, which is one reason why client reviews are so important. 

In 1998, a report from the NPR program All Things Considered noted, “large funeral-home conglomerates have been purchasing smaller, local funeral homes and retaining the family names on those homes.” The local funeral homes were nervous about the situation. The ones that weren’t being acquired were being squeezed by higher costs to compete and lower prices being offered by the corporate-owned funeral homes. All while the corporate businesses were trying to maintain the appearance of a small business. 

Corporate-owned funeral homes have the backing of a big business. They are able to spend much more on paid advertisements and can absorb the cost of lowering prices below the competition for a period of time to gain clientele. In some markets, family-owned funeral homes have even been put out of business by the practice. 

Locally-owned independent funeral homes don’t have those advantages. They are truly a small business that’s focused on serving one particular area. 

What’s worse is the local family-owned funeral home may actually offer lower costs than a corporate-owned one. In 2017, Service Corporation International (SCI) was put on notice for their pricing practices, which made it difficult for clients to know the true cost of funeral services. A survey from the Funeral Consumers Alliance and Consumer Federation of America found that, “SCI funeral homes charge a median of $2,700 for a simple cremation, compared with $1,562 for independent funeral homes.” They also charged roughly $1,000 more for burial and $2,500 more for full-service funerals. 

Clients sharing information about their experience helped the pricing differences come to light so that others are aware of the end cost and to be wary about rates that are advertised if they aren’t transparent. Only in this instance the information was shared as part of a survey. The individuals were directly asked if they’d like to share their feedback. Reviews are different in that they are driven solely by the individual. Another significant difference is that surveys are limited in the subject matter that’s discussed whereas client reviews can be about any aspect of the experience. 

Every review that a locally-owned funeral home receives helps them remain competitive with corporate-owned franchise funeral homes. Many small family-owned funeral homes rely on word of mouth to bring in new clients. Online reviews are the modern-day word of mouth advertising that gives other consumers a closer look at how the funeral home does business so they can compare it to other options. 

We’d like to take a moment to thank all of the people who have left reviews for Cremation.Green. It’s not easy to revisit the funeral services and relive the loss of a loved one even if it was an overall positive interaction with the funeral home. Each review helps our independent, locally-owned funeral home better understand how we can serve families to the best of our ability. Big-hearted care has always been a part of our mission, and it’s something we put into practice in every exchange whether it’s online or in-person.

Picture of Marlaena Gonzales

Marlaena Gonzales

Funeral Director
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