It is interesting how important ‘dignity’, ‘discretion’ and ‘personalisation’ are in this industry. Looking at the ‘Statewide Mortuary Transfers’ website you can see that dignity and discretion is really important. These conditions are mentioned several times when talking about personnel, facilities and the vehicles. When talking about the vehicles it says that each of them use “one individual stretchers on wheels even, similar to those used in modern ambulances.
This ensures a higher degree of dignity”. It is interesting how important it is that the equipment be modern and dignifying. And that they use similar equipment to ambulances. Most people in this industry would know Statewide is an impressive company. They may be always professional and immaculate, way more than some funeral directors themselves sometimes. So that it is strange that the need is experienced by them to state it on the website. Again, looking at the InvoCare website the essential idea of dignity and discretion is highlighted. Within their corporate profile they discuss “building trusting relationships”, maintaining a superior quality and requirements and “personalising the ongoing service to reveal the life span of the average person”.
This type of wording is seen in virtually any funeral home website or advertising. Dignity is so important with this job just. Yet it is un-assumed. The way each of them emphasise dignity gives them impression that the general public assumes there is no dignity on the market. After being asked certain questions and the way others discuss what we should do I have realised that most people think there is certainly little to no dignity in death. And they get worried about this in relation to their loved ones. While it is true, death and dignity do not go hand in hand they actually have a romantic relationship with one another.
The way people are treated once they die wouldn’t normally be called ‘dignified’ if these were alive. Certain things, such as putting a nappy on them, or dressing them the real way we do would be wrong if these were alive. They, however aren’t alive and these actions are very reasonable if not to discover the best once the person is dead. Lets go through the nappy.
If a person were alive putting a plastic nappy in it would be insulting generally. It might be unpleasant and degrading. After they are inactive this becomes a nice way of avoiding ‘spills’ or smells which would be unseemly. Over the funeral or throughout a viewing the last thing people will need are strong unpleasant smells using their loved one. So dignity goes but changes after death never. However many in the industry highlight and emphasise how they maintain dignity and many externally wonder if it exists at all. The other thing they emphasise is personalisation, either through ‘personal service’ or ‘personalising the service’.
A good exemplory case of this is the W.N.Bull slogan “leaders in personal service”. This slogan can be found below the logo on about everything regarding the business just. You’d be hard pressed to get the W.N.Bull logo design without it making the business image highly linked with the slogan.
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There are two intertwined explanations why funeral homes place a lot importance on personal service. Firstly they don’t want to be regarded as a “cold” or “uncaring” place that treats the deceased as an object rather than a person. Obviously this would create a negative image, which would damage business and drag down the trustworthiness of an otherwise good funeral company. And reputation is vital in this business amongst the companies.
One can easily see all this with the rumours of InvoCare as an American corporation. When InvoCare buys a fresh funeral home fresh rumours start to circulate about its American ties. As a result that funeral home almost always loses business initially. I saw this myself with W.N.Bull, once InvoCare bought the business work slipped off as rumours increased about the foreign possession of InvoCare and today of W.N.Bull. Gossip is ripe in this industry with true and false rumours being spread about each other.
As such negative tales spread around wildly and harm the firms image. The other reason that they promote personal service is more apparent and immediate. People do not need their cherished one objectified. They need these to appropriately be treated. Many just go with the cheapest or easiest as they don’t start to see the difference in cost being worth it. And it is true, most funeral companies shall do a good job.
Or at least almost all mourners will not notice the difference. In the end, many people do not know the coffin should be transformed clockwise. However many people do value personal service, which is a main area that W.N.Bull makes its money. Over the entire year the topic of why they selected Bulls has appear surprisingly often Driving households. Almost all reasons can be divided into two main, related reasons loosely.