If you haven’t heard this phrase from your staff or colleagues, then you may have heard it from another funeral home…

“The families we serve only want cheap coffins”. Or another variation of this is, “Our families only buy ‘flat lid’ coffins”.

Right, let’s examine this…

Firstly, we have to agree on one thing before we continue.

That is, in general, funerals are an important experience for people, and, offer significant value to families going through the grieving process.

Ok, if we agree on this, then obviously, the coffin (or casket) must be an integral component and an important focal point for the family during the funeral. And, be of some inherent value for them.

So why then, do some funeral directors insist, “The families we serve only want cheap coffins”?

Here’s one explanation –  and this does not just relate to funerals.

Families (like all consumers) will often buy the cheapest products offered (e.g. coffins) when they don’t understand the benefits of the more expensive options.

It makes perfect sense.

If families haven’t understood the features and benefits of each model in a funeral home’s coffin and casket selection (or had these details properly explained), then why would they buy anything other than the cheapest options?

In their mind – and rightly so – they just wouldn’t have the knowledge to justify a more expensive coffin purchase.

When you think about it, how many times during people’s lives do they have to buy a coffin? Once or twice perhaps? Three times maybe?

Therefore, when a family meet with a funeral director for a funeral arrangement, they come with little or no knowledge of what to look for, or what to ask about, when it comes time to select the coffin.

They are relying on the arranger’s guidance to help them choose a coffin that best meets their needs AND represents the best value for them. They won’t always be looking for the cheapest coffin.

Again, it’s not only funerals, many consumers will be happy to purchase a more expensive product (e.g. a better coffin) if they understand what the benefits of the additional cost will be.

Sure, it takes extra time to thoroughly go through all the coffin and casket options with a family during the arrangement.

But, by doing this, the funeral director is empowering the family to choose a coffin that best matches their needs – and it may not be the cheapest coffin.

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Rohan Kerr