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March 16, 2016

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, March 16, 2016
 A Message From Your Region 2 Director

Experience Required

In the “Good Old Days,” templates were all the rage. The cookie cutter was the standard and having preset option packages for everything from cars to kitchen cabinets just made life easier.

Fast forward to today. As we bid farewell to the industrial age and plunge headlong into the information age, we find that customization is the new rule. Everyone is looking for an experience. From where we get our hair cut to where we meet for lunch, customers are demanding a unique experience in exchange for their time and money.

The funeral profession is no different. While cremation has greatly reduced the immediacy of scheduling a funeral service, it has expanded the options for both the venue and the style of the service. Many families are opting for off-site memorial services and moving to a later date to accommodate out-of-town relatives and friends. Even traditional burial families with onsite services are looking for those elements that especially ring true of their loved one. Photo walls, dove releases, and tables filled with personal effects are just a few of the new standards at visitations and funerals.

But more than just the tangible elements, customers are looking for flexibility and creativity from the funeral director and his team. It’s the little things like calling people by their name, taking the time to connect in conversation, attentive listening and gentle guidance that make for a memorable experience. This is just as necessary for the person who greets families at the door, the receptionist who answers the phone, or the assistant who delivers flowers, as it is for the director. And it’s that experience the entire team creates which enhances word-of-mouth advertising for your business.

Creating unique experiences requires that everyone on the team has been equipped, empowered and is expected to provide what is needed when it is needed. That only happens when internal communication is the rule rather than the exception. Ongoing training for team members and regular evaluations following services are intentional methods of improving what we do and providing our best every time. The next time your team is gathered, go around the room and ask, “What kind of experience are we providing our families, and how can we make it better?”

Greg L. Henderson, CFSP
Region 2 Director

VR 206 Now In Effect
  The Illinois Department of Public Health filed emergency rules to implement P.A. 99-0262 (VR 206) which allow for the temporary removal of a dead human body out of state for organ and tissue donation. The amendment was effective March 10, 2016. Funeral directors must use a self-issued permit to take a body out of state for tissue and organ donations. A copy of the notification sent to the membership can be viewed here - Update to Transit Permit.

 IDFPR is Now Paperless for Renewals and Licensing
  CHICAGO – Secretary Bryan A. Schneider of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) is pleased to announce that paperless licensing and renewals have now been implemented for the professions licensed and regulated by the Divisions of Real Estate and Professional Regulation. The transition away from paper-based renewals and licenses means that regulated professionals will now be able to renew their license quickly and easily online, and be provided proof of licensure through email and IDFPR’s License Lookup application. The move to paperless technology is part of the Department’s ongoing efforts to modernize the state’s regulatory agency and will save the state nearly $3 million in postage, paper and printing costs over the next five years. 
Full article...
   IDFPR Paperless License FAQ - Click Here
 Phone Inquiries - Families or Price Shoppers?  Either Way, Your Obligated!

It's not uncommon for a funeral home to receive price inquiries by phone.  Sometimes these requests are clearly from families who are searching for a funeral home. Other times the calls come from businesses, maybe a funeral concierge service or other commercial entity compiling prices in order to sell it to funeral consumers.   Regardless of who is making the call, funeral homes may not refuse to provide price information over the telephone.

Under the Funeral Rule, funeral providers must give out pricing information to all persons who call – not just consumers. Your obligation includes:

  • Disclosing Prices Over the Phone: The Funeral Rule requires funeral directors to answer telephone inquiries regarding funeral services and prices. Therefore, if you receive a call from a business or consumer asking about the cost of various goods and services, you MUST provide that information over the telephone. This requirement applies even though the company is not a consumer.
  • Mailing or Faxing a Price List: The Funeral Rule only requires funeral homes to distribute a GPL if there is a face-to-face discussion involving funeral prices, arrangements, services or goods. Therefore, you are not required to mail or fax your GPL to a consumer, business or anyone else who calls and requests a price list. It is up to you to determine whether you want to honor that request, but you are not required to do so.

Here is a link from the FTC to help you comply with the Funeral Rule -

 New Members
  Please welcome our newest members!

Doug Skinner
Skinner Copper & Ehmen
Springfield, IL

Jim Blackburn
Joliet, IL

CE Course Now Available Online!

Just launched!  IFDA's First Online CE Course
Dr. Hambly's Historical Guide to Embalming Cookbook is available for online testing.  How does it work?  It's simple!  You order the book and we send it to you.  Once you are ready to take the test you let us know, then we will send you a link that will allow you to take the test.  Be ready to go though, the link can only be used once and the test must be completed once you start.  Credits will be posted to your profile automatically.

Watch for more courses to be added.

Check Out IFDA's Facebook and LinkedIn Pages
   Be sure to check out the IFDA Facebook page and give us a "like"!
   While you're at it, check out the IFDA Linkedin page too!
Member News
  Tell us something good! Have any member news to share? Let us know and we will post it in next month's E-News. 
District News  

Northeastern IL FDA - March 30, 2016
                                    April 22, 2016

Vermilion County FDA - April 26, 2016

District 8 - April 28, 2016

Classified Ads
  Funeral Home for Sale
Chicago suburb, small volume funeral home in business for 75 years.  Family business with potential, 1 chapel, sitting room with fireplace, showroom, lounge, prep room and upstairs apartment, 2 car garage with apartment above. Owner retiring. Asking $350,000. Serious inquiries only. 708-473-7277
   IFDA has a plethora of advertising opportunities for you. Check out our advertising rates and information here.

Tags:  FTC  IDFPR License Lookup  online ce course  paperless licensing  paperless renewals  Price shoppers 

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