Friday, July 29, 2011


Three or four times a week on my way to work I fumble with my cell phone to call my mother to see how she’s doing, sometimes I ask, “Mom, will you be coming into work today to clean today?” She asks if she is needed, of course she is, my mom is always needed. Other times she will call me and say, “Mijo, do you need me to help with a service tonight?" She likes to come in and help pass out prayer cards during the visitation or do whatever she can to help. It is important that she not stay late because not only do I not like her driving at night but I want her to be home.

This is family owned and operated, this is the definition of it, it is being involved with the business and as a family helping out where you can. I call on all my family now and again when needed. From assisting with moving things to my brother-in-law who plays with a Mariachi. And they come to help. To share the responsibility and guide a family. To help, not the funeral home, but the family, both their own and the one that has suffered the loss.

Avenidas Funeral Chapel would not be what it is today if it was not for my mother pushing me and telling me, “Son, you know what you are good at, people have always searched you out for your guidance during these times. So why don’t you move forward with this?” With my mother's influence and family assistance, I did.

Family owned and operated is much more than just a title, it is much more than just a flag to wave in front of someones face, or a banner to post on a building. It is a responsibility to the family you serve. They come to you expecting a little bit more. A softer touch, some understanding and perhaps the last thing they want to hear about is whether the company will allow you to do or not do something. They came to sit with "you" so “you” can give them advice, “you” can explain the system and “you” can give them a little compassion and understanding ensuring that they are requesting an adequate service that is within their budget. The family that comes to you is hoping to build a personal relationship with you and your family. Some families need a little financial help more than others, yes, some come hoping "you" are the one that can show that compassion, not the guy down the hall. They don't want to meet the manager, the president, or the CEO. All they want is a little bit of help.

It does not matter what the price range of the services you select or the facility you choose. In my humble opinion, to use a family owned and operated funeral home is by far better than those that are not family owned. With family owned and operated, a vast majority of the time you can count on meeting the business owner from the time he or she takes the call in the wee hours of the morning, when he or she goes to the hospital or your residence to bring the deceased into their care, and he or she stands at your side at the grave. That is the quality of service most family owned funeral homes will provide.

Remember, there are those that slip through the cracks. Some independents have gone by the wayside and can’t take their eye off the bottom dollar when working with a family. Use your best judgment. If a facility gives you a good feeling when you walk in, consider it for your services, if it is cold and sterile, use caution. If you so choose to use anything other than family owned, insist on working with the same representative, pick the one that makes you feel most comfortable.

With family owned and operated, it should not be difficult to change simple things or request little things such as a phone call or a correction on a document. When a record is being kept of all calls, faxes and documents, or you hear terms like "Forms A, C, ACC, D, E", use caution. Ask to see the deceased’s case folder.

There are allot of very good individuals that work in the “other than” family owned funeral homes. You will see them shine if you are in a position to be able to use them. It is really unfortunate, what happens to really good employees, that put a lot of care into their work, in these non family owned funeral homes.

Personalization is a very big part of what "family owned and operated" is all about. Personalization, to me, is defined as, no two services are the same, no two contain a cookie cuter approach to what it is. We strive to treat every family as different, as they truly are to the one before and the one that will follow. My family and I put a lot into what we do every time we help a family. It is very comforting to me when I am told by a family, “It’s like your one of us”. Well I am, and I am proud of the service that I provide to those out there that are just like me.

No comments:

Post a Comment