When comparing funeral homes, here are some things to keep in mind.
Accessibility: Is it easy to find the building? Is there enough parking? Is there a ramp or easy access for elderly or disabled visitors?
Cleanliness: What is the condition of the building, furnishing and other equipment? Are the restrooms and chapel clean?
Functionality: Is this just a funeral home or are they affiliated with a cemetery or crematory as well? Is there a chapel you may use for a funeral or memorial service? Is there a reception area available for after a service?
Comfort: Does the building feel spacious and homey, or cramped? If you have your service here, is there enough seating for family and friends who may be attending?
Hospitality: When arriving, are you greeted and helped in a timely manner? Are you offered snacks and beverages if you need to wait for the right staff member to be available?
Attentiveness: Do you feel like you have the funeral director’s full attention? Are you being listened to? Are your questions being answered in full detail?
Accommodating: Is the staff able to help arrange for an officiant, clergy or musician? Does the staff sound like they will help you add meaningful touches to a service such as arranging a dove release, creating a memorial video or finding centerpieces for a reception?
Availability: How quickly did you get a call back from an advanced planning specialist or funeral director? Did the staff member you were working with offer a cell phone number or email so you could contact them directly?
Funeral Directors: Is the person you are working with a licensed funeral director? Do they also have a cremation license?
Other Specialists: Is there a staff member who can notarize documents? In cases where a funeral home offers assistance with arranging a reception, do staff members have current food handler’s cards?
Selection: Does the selection of goods reflect what you are looking for? If not, will the staff help you find what you are looking for elsewhere or with a new vendor?
Accommodations: Does the staff oppose or support your choice of purchasing goods elsewhere and bringing them in? Common items families ask to bring in include urns, keepsake jewelry and register books.
Religion and Cultural: Does the funeral director understand your religious or cultural needs? If you or others need to wash, dress, or perform other final rites in a private setting, is there a room or area available? Is incense allowed for use within the chapel?