Better Collaboration for Your Funeral Home
Posted November 15, 2017
5 min read
“You can almost never communicate too much in your business,” says Denise Mercier, a Funeral Director at Geo. H. Rohde & Son Funeral Home and a current CRäKN customer when talking about collaboration and communication at their firm.
Located in Cincinnati, Ohio, Geo. H. Rohde & Son Funeral Home is known in the community as being an experienced, compassionate, and caring funeral home that recognizes that each family is unique and has personal requests and traditions. “These requests and traditions are of utmost importance to our staff,” adds Mercier.
Mercier graduated from the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science with her BMS in Mortuary Science in December of 2009. As a Licensed Funeral Director, she has been with the Rohde Family for more than 8 years.
In our spotlight of Geo. H. Rohde & Son Funeral Home, Mercier shares 3 key ways their funeral home is using effective communication to better collaborate, and to ultimately deliver memorable, one-of-a-kind, and lasting experiences to their families.
1. You can almost never over-communicate
One thing Mercier has learned over the years: “Over-communication just doesn’t exist in what we do. That’s because things are happening at a rapid pace for us,” she says.
That’s an important realization for directors because it can help them be as proactive as possible when it comes to collaborating and sharing information with colleagues. Many times, no matter the business, people think they’ve communicated something, but in reality, they haven’t, or at least they haven’t fully or clearly transferred information to a peer (or to a family).
For example, if a family speaks with one director when they first engage with the funeral home, that director has a wealth of first-hand knowledge about what the family wants and desires. They’ve also garnered trust with the family, and it’s important to relay every single detail so that the family receives the experience they deserve, explains Mercier. “During that one-on-one time with the family, that director is absorbing a lot of information, whether it’s information for documents, for the funeral service itself, and then they are also going to be handling personal goods and other things that are very meaningful to the family. We want to be sure to capture that,” explains Mercier.
2. Visibility will ultimately bring value to your families
It may sound like common sense, but that information should be shared with others at the funeral home, too, so that they can know just as much about what a family is looking for as the person who heard it, first-hand.
So much of that experience is in the details and in subtleties, explains Mercier. That’s why she sees the value of putting things in writing—though that doesn’t solely mean in handwritten format.
“We are proactively communicating, and making those things visible, whether we are texting back and forth, or using a system of post-it notes, or another form of sharing the information like CRäKN,” says Mercier. “When it’s documented, in whatever way it may be, it just helps everyone.”
This proactive mindset that focuses on getting things documented (or more visible to team members) helps everyone track specific details, says Mercier. It also creates greater awareness and visibility into a family’s desired experience, and it helps to gain alignment across the business.
“We are not always perfect in this regard and I have yet to meet someone who is. But, if we proactively communicate then we can really make sure everyone is on the same page. That might be sending notifications from CRäKN, adding notes in CRäKN, or using our post-it system.”
3. Don’t hold back from combining methods of communication
The team at Geo. H. Rohde & Son Funeral Home knows you can almost never over-communicate, and at the same time, they see the value in using multiple communication channels to make collaboration easier.
Part of the reason they find success in this area is their intent and their thought process that goes into how they choose to communicate.
Mercier says they examine three things when it comes to deciding which channel is going to be most effective:
- What’s best for the families: First and foremost, how does communication best serve families? How do they prefer communication in this situation? What is going to help us add to their experience the most?
- What’s best for the business: What is best for the operations? What is best for day-to-day management of details?
- What’s best for the team: How does staff (or an individual person) prefer to communicate? What channel will best support the team as a whole?
“We always like to be caught up on each other’s cases and our families. Just because one director may have met the family or initially taken the call from a family, we all like to know we’re all on the same page this way.”
Simplify the Way You Manage Your Funeral Home
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