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FN 300 – Customer Service & Funeral Planning


This online CE course is a comprehensive course and provides learners with a solid foundation in the study of customer service initiatives in the funeral services industry, as well as a comprehensive study of the planning process for funerals. Key issues related to customer service for those grieving and dealing with death and funeral preparations are presented. Theories and strategies are presented and studied. This course also provides good overview of the multiple dimensions of roles and services within the funeral service industry, including the role of after care specialists, grief counselors, pre-need planners, ritual specialists, and more. Every aspect of funeral services is presented, along with specific issues related to customer service at each step from intake to burial and after burial. Students will also learn theories related to leadership and management.

The funeral service planning process is fully presented, along with an analysis of the entire process of planning. All key issues related to the planning process of funeral services are examined. Varied types of services are examined, as well as the key components of planning for appropriate services. Students will examine the process in theory in order to be ready to assist funeral homes/directors in their actual work environment. Upon successful completion of this course, students are awarded 60 hours of continuing education credits. Course Code: FN 300.

This course is particularly designed for those who would like to apply for Certification as a Certified Funeral Service Associate by the American Institute of Funeral Service Associates. You must have successfully completed our CE course GC 400: Death, Dying and Mourning, and FN 190 Psychosocial Aspects of Death, Dying and Grief, and FN 200 Funeral Services I- Process and Function, and FN 250, before taking this course.

Instructor/Course Author: Dominick L. Flarey, Ph.D, MBA,RN-BC, ANP-BC, GC-C
Link to Resume: access here


TIME FRAME: You are allotted two years from the date of enrollment, to complete this course. There are no set time-frames, other than the two year allotted time. If you do not complete the course within the two-year time-frame, you will be removed from the course and an “incomplete” will be recorded for you in our records. Also, if you would like to complete the course after this two-year expiration time, you would need to register and pay the course tuition fee again.

TEXTBOOKSThere are two (2) required textbooks for this course.

Funeral Home Customer Service: Creating Exceptional Experiences for Today’s Families. By: Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. Fort Collins;Companion Press:2004. ISBN # 1-879651-44-0.

Link to Purchase on click here

Book 2: The Complete Guide to Funeral Planning: How to Arrange the Appropriate Service. By: Geoffrey C. Carnell. Guilford;The Lyons Press:2005. ISBN # 1-59228-441-8

Link to Purchase on click here

GRADING: You must achieve a passing score of at least 70% to complete this course and receive the 60 hours of awarded continuing education credit. There are no letter grades assigned. You will receive notice of your total % score. Those who score below the minimum of 70% will be contacted by the American Academy of Grief Counseling and options for completing additional course work to achieve a passing score, will be presented.

BOARD APPROVALS: AIHCP is an approved provider of continuing education by the American Institute of Health Care Professionals (The Provider) is approved by the California Board of Registered Nurses, Provider number # CEP 15595 for 60 Contact Hours. Access information

Course Refund & AIHCP Policies: access here


* Examination Access: there is link to take you right to the online examination program where you can print out your examination and work with it. All examinations are formatted as “open book” tests. When you are ready, you can access the exam program at anytime and click in your responses to the questions. Full information is provided in the online classrooms.

Student Resource Center: there is a link for access to a web page “Student Resource Center.” The Resource Center provides for easy access to all of our policies/procedures and additional information regarding applying for certification. We also have many links to many outside reference sites, such as online libraries that you may freely access.

* Online Evaluation: there is a link in the classroom where you may access the course evaluation. All students completing a course, must, without exception, complete the course evaluation.

* Faculty Access Information: you will have access to your instructor’s online resume/biography, as well as your instructor’s specific contact information.

* Additional Learning Materials: some faculty have prepared additional “readings” and /or brief lecture notes to enhance your experience. All of these are available in the online classrooms.


COURSE OBJECTIVES: Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

1). Define theories related to past and present issues of customer service initiatives, including models and structures.
2). Identify the “baby boomers” as customers of funeral services including their characteristics, needs and wants.
3). Identify and discuss cultural issues related to customer service initiatives.
4). Discuss theories of customer service and how they related to the funeral services industry.
5). Discuss several types of after-care models for customers of funeral services.
6). Identify key issues in relating to customers during the planning and arranging phase of services.
7). Identify and discuss funeral director fatigue syndrome.
8). Discuss how to communicate issues related to cremation to customers.
9). Understand communication theories and relativism to work with the bereaved.
10). Understand the use of empathy in working with customers.
11). Identify key points and imperatives related to “listening” to customers.
12). Identify and discuss major issues related to common misconceptions regarding funeral services and how to deal with customers when such issues arise.
13). Discuss “pre- need” and strategies to present services to those who want a pre-need completed.
14). Discuss ways to help “personalize” services for the deceased and families.
15). Identify how to provide “value added” services to customers.
16). Review and discuss customer satisfaction surveys for funeral services.
17). Review and discuss therapeutic aspects of providing funeral services.
18). Identify common ways to discuss death and services with customers.
19). Identify and review all of the major processes regarding “first call” and the intake process for funeral services.
20). Discuss key planning issues related to services, eulogies, burial.
21). Review key processes for visitation of the deceased.
22). Identify components and processes related to traditional funerals.
23). Review and discuss planning issues related to cremation.
24). Review and discuss planning issues related to military funerals.
25). Identify and discuss the processes involved in pre-planning.
26). Discuss issues related to costs of funeral services.



A brief abstract of content:

1).Customer service theories and models
2). Creating service strategies
3). Working with the Baby-Boomer generation
4). Core values of customers today
5). Symbolism and death
6). Aftercare programs
7). Customer services and arrangements
8). Attitudes appropriate for customer service
9). Burn-out syndrome for funeral service professionals
10). Talking to children about death
11). Communication theories
12). Issues related to cremation
13). Committal services
14). The use of empathy in customer service
15). Strategies for eulogies
16). Strategies for working with families
17). Developing the helping relationship
18). Innovations in memorializations
19). Key issues in leadership and management
20). Developing listening skills
21). Personalizing funeral services
22). Misconceptions regarding funeral services
23). Rituals and the ritual specialist
24). Providing value added services
25). Issue in customer service and visitations
26). How to assist in planning
27). Initial call and intake process
28). Planning for personalization of services
29). The traditional funeral
30). Alternative options to traditional services
31). Pre-planning programs
32). Aftercare programs
33). Costs of funeral services
34). Education and regulation related to the funeral services industry