Due to a recent personal loss, last week I visited a funeral agency. Since this visit for obvious reasons is very much on top of my mind, I will take this opportunity to reflect upon the physical space and servicescape of the funeral office. This being my first visit to a funeral office, I did not know what to expect, more than what I had seen on tv, or a different kind of agency (general script).
Physical space: The office entrance was discrete with a small waiting room. The office space had a clean scandinavian design. There were two private offices. An agent geeted us by the door, and was kind to squeeze us in on a short notice. The office room was small and overfurnished, filld with piles of paper. But there was a shelf of miniatures of coffins, which made it easier for us to pick the right model, according to our budget.
Digital space: The agent used their web page as a reference, a lot of information and their enlisted products and services where easily accessed. For instance, we could see a selection of floral arrangements to choose from, and then e-mail our choice to the agency. We could also have ordered directly from the web site, but I wasn’t sure that our agent would receive the information. This part could have been better informed.
I’ve kept in touch with the agency after our vitit by phone and mostly e-mail. The tone of communication is professional and they answer any request quickly. The e-mail has a digital signature with logo, adress and other contact information giving it a professional appearance.
Printed information: the agent showed us a selection of newspaper obituaries and selection of the available flower arrangements from handmade catalogues. These were handy for my elderly mother to read and choose from, but personally I see an opportunity to modernize the service by digitalizing these catalogues.
Some of the available resources in the funeral office are: the help and know how of the agent, catalogues, product miniatures and the web site.