As featured in Momento Mori, August-September 2022

IT’S HARD TO BELIEVE that the majority of us started live streaming funeral ceremonies just two years ago. We have learned a lot—often through our own challenging experiences—about what it takes to live stream these important events for individuals and families who are now count on us for digital services, too.

While many of us feel like we’re doing the best we can, when it comes to live streaming, there are a few important yet simple ways we can add tremendous value to our customers’ funeral experiences every time we stream.

When a family feels like the services you offered were not only highly professional and compassionate, but that you also delivered unexpected value, that’s when they become your customers for life and when they will tell all their friends about the meaningful experience you made possible for everyone.

Creating engaging, personalized guest experiences is how you can make those kinds of lasting impressions on your customers and their friends and relatives.

The next time you live stream, here are five things you should pay attention to:

1. Connect

Communicate with online guests before and after the ceremony, and make it easy for them to reach out to you. Consider adding guest registration, a live chat option, send- ing reminders and thank you messages and a link to the recording.

2. Personalize

Welcome online guests to the live broadcast by presenting them with a photo or pictures of their loved one. Include that person’s name, pertinent dates, and music that will help them prepare for the funeral experience ahead.

3. Engage

Online guests often wish they could do more to show the family how much they care. Make it easy for them to share memories and heartfelt condolences while they are in the moment: audio or video messages, uploads, eCards, donations, etc.

4. Brand

The experience of attending virtually should be a natural extension of the in-person experience. Acquaint online guests with your trusted brand and help them recognize that someone is always available to answer their questions or assist them.

5. Protect

You wouldn’t choose to broadcast your funeral ceremonies to passersby on the street near your funeral home. Ensure you are providing a respectful and refined online experience by taking steps to protect each family’s privacy when you stream.

We understand how many details go into arranging meaningful and memorable funeral events. In so many ways, you are experts in creating experiences that help families say goodbye to a loved one and celebrate the beautiful moments in that person’s life.

The fact that 80% of funeral professionals had to begin live streaming in 2020 doesn’t mean your live broadcasts shouldn’t feel like they were deliberately arranged in concert with the in-person ceremony, with exactly the same care and professionalism you’re known for.

In fact, when done well, live streaming may be the smartest new way to grow your future business with very little added effort.

While there are still other ways to get even more out of every live stream, consider the five points above as important gateways for creating the kinds of online experiences that will set you apart, keep you top-of-mind and bring new customers your way.