Like many industries, Coronavirus has had a huge impact on the funeral industry, especially for funeral homes based in Melbourne. There are two main areas in which the funeral industry has needed to pivot and shift the way things are usually done.
Area 1: The Funeral Home
No one could have prepared us for how the Coronavirus has impacted Funeral Homes. There have been a number of things that we needed to understand then adapt.
- The first was understanding restrictions of what was and wasn’t allowed.
Since March, this has changed daily. From June, we were able to hold 50 guests at a funeral, ensuring social distancing was adhered. And by July Funerals were down to only 10 people.
That’s been the most difficult thing to witness as a funeral director – families having to select only 10 people to attend their loved one’s funeral.
As these restrictions progressed, we had to keep our staff up to date, so they all knew what they could and couldn’t sign off with families. This information also had to be reflected on our website, so families were assured that we understood the guidelines and could confidently walk them through it at this exceptionally difficult time.
- The second was the use of Technology
Since all the restrictions were limited the number of people who could attend a funeral, we had to work fast to improve our live streaming technology. Many people from all over the world would be wanting to view the live funeral of their loved one, with no other choice.
So, we had to improve our live streaming abilities to ensure it was reliable, giving grieving families and friends a view to the funeral of their loved one. This was also recorded for those who were unable to attend the live stream.
Again, we had to update our staff to understand the ins and outs of this service, so they could relay it to the families they were talking to. We also had to update this service on our website, so potential clients knew this was an offer we could provide for their loved one.
To be honest, this has been one of the positive things to come out of the pandemic. It has changed the way we think about funerals and will be part of the funeral industry going forward.
- The third was the safety of our staff
Our staff had to ensure they were keeping safe at all times when liaising with families and conducting the funerals. This meant social distancing, wearing masks, sanitising all the time and trying to converse with clients over the phone as much as possible.
Area 2: The Families
As we all know, the death of a loved one is difficult enough already, let alone during a Global Pandemic. Grief is the most difficult thing one will confront in a lifetime, and seeing families have to deal with their grief whilst navigating the restrictions of the pandemic has been tough.
This is why we have tried to help and guide them as much as we can during these unprecedented times. Hence the use of technology to ensure all loved ones can attend the funeral, no matter where they are. This also meant that virtual eulogies could take place and families could still feel connected, even though they were physically apart.
To say the pandemic impacted the Funeral Industry is an understatement and know we are looking at the positives that have come out of this that we can take into the future. We aim to continue to improve the service we provide, no matter what is thrown our way.