Please Rate the Overall Cleanliness of the Funeral Home

blue or black inkIn today’s mail, mixed in with the catalogues and the magazine subscription notices, was a customer satisfaction survey. From the funeral home that handled my mom’s cremation. Am I wrong in thinking there’s something tacky about this?

“Please tell us how much pressure, if any, your funeral director tried to place on you while making the arrangements.
A lot of pressure,
A little pressure,
No pressure”

I honestly don’t remember. I’ve heard stories about unscrupulous funeral directors, I guess this funeral home company is worried that they may have hired a few. Luckily, my mom and I had talked about what we wanted when it came time for our funerals. And, again luckily, my pal Marti was with me to help me think–cause I was a bit messed up when I went to make arrangements.

“Using a 1 to 10 scale where 1 is Unacceptable 10 is Outstanding, and 5 is Average, please rate the overall cleanliness of the funeral home.”

Really? I’m overwhelmed with grief and you want me to notice whether the furniture has been dusted?

“Using the same 1 to 10 scale, please rate the visitation and service on the following items:
a. Appearance of the deceased for viewing or identification.
b. The presentation of tributes (i.e. flowers, pictures, etc)
c. Transportation to cemetery/memorial park/cremation garden
d. The visitation and service overall”

I had to identify my mom’s body in order for them to do the cremation. They made her look nicer than she did when she passed away. But I still don’t like remembering it.

“Thinking of all aspects of the funeral home, please rate your overall experience using the same 1 to 10 scale.”

The scale did not include a number for “it sucks.”

“If the need arose, would you use this funeral home again?
Definitely would not
Probably would not
Probably would
Definitely would”

If the need arose? Like I’m gonna live forever?

Well, the next time I need a funeral home, it won’t be me making the decision as to which one to use. But my inclination would be “Probably would not.”

“Did someone clearly explain the following? (Yes//No/Do not recall)
Benefits of the funeral home’s parent company (i.e. bereavement travel, compassion help, aftercare planning)?
Funeral home company package offerings
Catering/Reception options
Complimentary online obituary”

Yeah. It was that pushy, funeral director trying to pressure me.

I’ve spent nearly my entire adult working life in customer service, and I understand the need for customer feedback. I’m just not convinced that a JD Power Survey is the right choice for a funeral home. Why would anybody be motivated to take it? Funeral homes should be able to measure how they’re doing with their consumers, but only with some sensitivity for the reason their product is being purchased.

In the cover letter they sent, they told me they were “honored to have been of assistance” and would be “most grateful” if I’d fill out their survey.  They wanted me to “return the completed questionnaire at my earliest convenience.” No where did they say they were sorry for my loss.

At least they included a postage-paid envelope.

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