Few industries are transforming faster than the funeral and memorial services industry, and technology plays a vital role in the trend. In the past, a computer was the only piece of technology available to funeral directors. Today, funeral homes are leveraging different technologies to provide clients with unrivalled funeral services. Here are the key technologies transforming funeral services.
A few decades ago, funeral homes could only determine the type of services their clients needed by issuing questionnaires or through a suggestion box. Clients would then write down their experiences, and funeral homes would tweak their services based on the information. While the strategy worked, funeral homes could still not fully fulfil their customers' desires. However, things have changed today, thanks to data analytics. Rather than ask clients what services they want, funeral service providers are looking into big data sources. The sources include social media platforms, websites and search engines where clients spend most of their time. The data available in such platforms provide an insight into what clients like or dislike about funeral services. With such information, it is easy to improve and align services to clients' needs.
Webcasting funeral services used to only be used for a few people, including presidents and high-profile celebrities. However, things have changed today as more funeral homes are incorporating webcasting in their funeral services. In fact, some companies have set up online webcasting platforms and offer subscriptions for funeral homes. The platforms allow for easy setup and linkage of audio and video equipment, enabling grieving families to broadcast funeral services for easy access by faraway friends and family members. All one has to do is log in to a remote attendance system with credentials to stream a live funeral service. In addition, some advanced funeral webcasting services allow attendees to upload videos, photographs and even sign a digital condolence book.
Embedded technology is another trend gradually making its way into the funeral services industry. Instead of squeezing information about the deceased on a headstone, funeral homes inscribe QR codes onto gravestones. Therefore, when loved ones visit a grave and want to learn more about the dead, they scan the QR code with their smartphones. Once the scan is complete, visitors are sent to a webpage containing videos, images and information about the deceased loved one. In addition, the technology keeps a headstone neat since it only features the deceased's name.
Funerals can bring forth such a range of emotions: melancholy, grief, regret, relief and nostalgia. As an assistant at a funeral parlour, I am privileged to help people with organising their loved one’s final journey. I have learnt that a good funeral parlour can make the occasion truly commemorative. When I attend funerals for friends, I am saddened to see that so many ceremonies are traditional and joyless. I later find out that the family members simply weren’t aware of options such as a graveside memorial service. I love the fact that one of my tasks involves showing family members various venues and demonstrating what can be done. In this humble little blog, I hope to make it my mission to share some of the ideas – big and small – from the best funerals I have seen. Perhaps it will give you some inspiration at a difficult time. Bless.