Steve Zittle

June 29, 2018

How to Become an Influential Business: Train Your Staff

We all want to think that our funeral home offers the best service when compared to our competitors. We want to assume that the work coming out of our prep room is superior as well. Why would you be in business if your goal was to be second or third best in your market? How do you really know if you’re the best? What quantifies the meaning of “best?” If you are not regularly surveying your families, you have no idea. The Foresight Companies can even survey families who did not choose your firm and give you insight as to why. We must, from time to time, conduct an operational audit of our firm. The results of which will (if we’re honest with ourselves) yield an answer to the question: Are we really the best in our market? Even if […]
June 5, 2018


One of the characteristics that drew me to funeral service more than 28 years ago was the fact that funeral service professionals had to be proficient in such a wide variety of subjects. Truly, in our business, no two days are alike. Everyone who has taken the National Board Exam, for instance, has studied the complexities of embalming, restorative art, microbiology, pathology, chemistry and anatomy. I’m a product of the “old school,” where the appearance of the body is a big deal, and so I believe that the prep room and our ability to excel there should not be minimized. However, our industry is rapidly changing direction. According to the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards, it is possible to acquire a funeral director-only license in 29 U.S. states, including Washington, D.C., and four Canadian provinces. That means that […]
February 19, 2018

The Traditional Funeral Is Dead

The evolution of funeral service has presented a sea of changes over time, so we must not simply mourn the past and hang on but move forward to give today’s consumers what they want. The traditional funeral, as funeral service so lovingly defines it, is gone. And it’s not coming back. In 2018, can we all finally agree on this point? Sure, there are some rural pockets of the country that have remained more stable in their practices, but are any among us honestly holding out hope that we’ll see families in the future choosing better quality merchandise and putting more emphasis on memorialization? When it comes to the “traditional” funeral, I encourage us all to get to the last and most important stage of grief – acceptance. But please don’t accept that changing consumer attitudes are all your fault. […]
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