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how to go from free to fee

Last week, we examined the importance of understanding the value of the services you provide. After all, families are selecting you to provide services they themselves are unable to perform.


All things being equal, “how” the body is prepared for burial or cremation remains relatively standard across the industry, “apples-to-apples” if you will. Family decisions rarely predicated on the use or difference of embalming fluid brands…

Rather, consumer selection is largely determined by the ‘why.’ … why does a family select one funeral home over another?


Contrary to popular belief, the selection of a funeral home has less to do with cost, and more about how the family feels about their interactions with the staff, their interpretation of the ‘atmosphere’ of the funeral home building/décor.


For a family seeking the services of a funeral home, the ‘why’ of their decision comes down to how they feel about the overall experience.


Let’s compare the decisions of two different families, both seeking end-of-life arrangements: 


Family A made the decision based upon price, and went with the lowest cost option, but were disappointed with the service. Regret is an insight that comes with a heavy cost, both financially and emotionally. And in honoring the final wishes of a loved one, regretting the service provided hinders the healing a funeral service can provide. The ‘freebies’ they received were of low quality and did little to add value to the service.


The other side of the same coin is Family B that selected a funeral home based upon the recommendations of family or friends… Yes, it might have been a bit pricier than the bare bones (pardon the pun) provider, but the value of the service was found in the quality of the services provided… The “why” was piece-of-mind and value for the cost!


In fact, take a look at some recent consumer findings:












Notice how none of those metrics said anything about ‘free’ products? In the same way the ‘why’ of decision making is a feeling rather than a price point, the absence of a price point (or free) implies ‘free of value.’


There are very few points in a lifetime in which a person is so emotionally raw and vulnerable than when they are dealing with the death of a loved one. They are meeting with you because of the value of life, the importance of remembrance. They are paying you for the provision of care, comfort, and confidence in your ability to honor the physical remains with dignity and grace. All they ask in return is that you give them what they pay for…


Up Next: Not everyone is your customer... and that's okay!


Missed Part One of our series, "How to Go From Free to Fee"? Catch up here!

part two:

people value what they pay for

  • A customer is 4 times more likely to buy from a competitor if the problem is service related vs. price or product related. (Bain & Co.

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