Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Is pet memorialization worth it?

Jason Murphy,
Director of Family Services,
Sunset Memorial Park
Many families see their pet as a part of the family and will go the distance for them. In some situations, families will spend thousands of dollars throughout the course of a pet’s life to keep them healthy and happy. So, why wouldn’t they spend the time and resources on honoring their life in the end? The simple answer is that people will spend their resources on pet memorialization if they know it is an option. However, they probably won’t spend enough to make this a huge profit maker for your business. The question then becomes, how do we make the pet memorialization business worth it?

At Sunset Memorial Park, it took us a while to fully commit to the pet memorialization business. We’ve had a pet section in our memorial park for a long time, but never fully committed to providing other funeral services for pets until recently. We now have our own pet crematory and a program titled, Cherished Companions, which deals strictly with helping families honor their pets' lives.

We’ve found that we can’t expect to make a huge profit off of pet cremations, burials and merchandise.  But, we can expect to serve these families to the best of our ability. We can work hard to make them a Sunset family for life.

When you take care of a family’s beloved pet like you would their mother or father, then they have peace of mind in knowing you will take care of them and their other family members with care and dignity. We train our counselors to go beyond simply serving the family at the time of need when their pet dies. They are trained to encourage the families they serve to preplan their own final wishes and their loved ones as well. If they are taking the time to preplan their pet’s final wishes, they’re more likely to see the value in preplanning for themselves. It is only a matter of whether or not your counselors are bold enough to ask the question.

This is where you will see that the pet death care business has value. When you begin to increase your preplanning and cemetery sales through touching families after the loss of their cherished companion that is when the pet business will make the biggest impact on your company.

This article originally appeared in Modern Memorialization, Trigard Memorials' weekly electronic newsletter featuring information for the funeral industry. Sign up for your free subscription at http://www.trigard.com/thursdays.

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