What makes an exceptional funeral director?

Funeral director Mark Ganner

Funeral Director Mark Ganner, from Joseph Lymer & Son Funeral Directors in Stoke-On-Trent, blogs about what makes an exceptional funeral director. Mark works alongside Steve, aiming to raise the bar in standards across the county. 

He writes:

All funeral directors should be professional, courteous, and empathic when serving grieving families. But what makes an exceptional funeral director stand out from the rest? 

J Lymer Funerals continuously strive for perfection, ensuring families receive the highest possible standards of care and we achieve this by offering impeccable service in 8 key areas:

1. We Go Above And Beyond

Horses with funeral director team

Following an arrangement with a family and having listened and guided the conversations, we can tailor the service to the family’s exact requirements, but this is good practice, not necessarily exceptional. We push the boundaries. For example: a gentleman we cared for recently was an ex-fireman serving at two main stations.

On the family’s behalf, we visited the central station to archive photos of the appliances the ex-fireman had worked on. We incorporated a bespoke designed coffin. We also contacted the ceremonial team and the ‘Watch Commander’ to arrange a guard of honour. The family were delighted, and there were many tears of pride and joy on the day. It meant so much to them. It is always a privilege to be a part of the journey of grief in these kinds of ways. We treat all families as if they were our own family, and nothing short of perfection will do. 

2. By Being Attentive

We believe grieving families deserve our time and attention; to be given enough time to discuss details, allowing families to trust us to provide the absolute best care.

3. Great Listening and Communication skills

Funeral Director, Mark Ganner

“You have two ears and one mouth, use them in this proportion, and you’ll do well,” my parents told me growing up. It’s true, listening intently and guiding the conversation, yields essential information and helps us to understand who their loved one was. Being attentive helps us to capture all their wishes and feelings to ensure the funeral service is tailored to their requirements.

Our communication between ministers, celebrants, crematoria, churches, and venues are vital to ensure a seamless service is provided for the families.

4. Creativity

Attention to detail is critical at J Lymer Funerals. Bespoke Orders of Services are lovely keepsakes for family and friends. Providing quality booklets also demonstrates our professionalism and the pride we take in our work. 

We offer bespoke, themed order of service booklets alongside traditional styles too, always inspired by the conversations we have with the family. 

An example: a family wanted to include mythical creatures and heavy rock music. We created an Order of Service with a white Pegasus ridden by a winged fairy holding a tiny pet dragon as the front cover. Inside were various dragon vector images used as borders, and the background had flying dragon circling towards the clear blue sky and sunshine. Again, the family were “blown away” by the time and effort we put into creating something so special. 

We work closely with our dedicated florist Flirty Blooms, a lovely lady called Fleur, who helps create and realise family’s dreams in 3D floral designs. In addition, she makes mood boards to capture the loved one’s essence, interests, and personality.

5. Compassion and Empathy

A prerequisite surely? We invest a great deal emotionally, taking an authentic interest in the family we are serving, and using appropriate humour to defuse highly emotionally charged situations when required. One family dreaded the funeral arrangement but afterwards commented, “You’ve made it so easy and, dare we say, enjoyable.” 

6. Being Calm Under Pressure

We believe families need a safe pair of hands throughout the whole process. We call them ‘touch points’. Every time we interact with a family, from the first call, the arrangement, follow up meetings, the funeral itself and further follow up appointments, we are always calm, professional, and helpful, remembering families grieve at different stages throughout the process. 

7. Highly Presentable

Of course, first impressions matter. Our staff and our fleet are impeccable and highly presentable. Standards are extremely high at J Lymer Funerals. Every team member is an ambassador and plays a pivotal role in ensuring the funeral runs smoothly and seamlessly.

8. High Standards

It can be the most straightforward request, such as family visiting our chapel of rest outside the funeral home operating hours. Or working alongside award-winning professionals like Steve, we are always seeking to raise the bar in standards across the county. 

J Lymer Funerals wish to congratulate Steve on winning the 2021 TCIA Unique Ceremony Award, and look forward to working alongside him for many more years to come. 

Scroll to Top