Funeral Business Advisor sat down with Scott Beinhauer, funeral director with Beinhauer Family Funeral Homes located in McMurray, PA to learn more about his career and experience in the funeral industry.
Did you always want to be a funeral director? How did you get into the industry?
For me this is a family business, so the idea of this as a career was always right in front of me. However, it took me some time to officially decide what I was going to do once I got out of high school. After graduating from high school, I went into the Army for a short period of time and spent some time after my service debating what to do. My heart was telling me to join the family business, get my license, and become a funeral director – so I knew that I was choosing the path best suited for me.
I am very passionate about this industry, I consider myself to be a people-person, and I feel that I found my place as a funeral director. I know in my heart that being a part of the healing process for the families I serve is exactly what I was meant to do. I am proud to be a sixth-generation funeral director.
What is your favorite part about working in this industry?
My favorite part is definitely getting to work with people and working to build trust with the families who may not know me or know my family business, but during the worst time in their lives they pick up the phone and know they can rely on me and our team’s expertise. It’s very gratifying for me to be a part of the whole process.
I enjoy all facets of our business, but really spending time with people and helping them through the process is what is most rewarding.
What makes your funeral home stand out from others in the area? What makes it unique?
We are a full-service provider. So, in addition to our five rooftops, we have an on-site crematory, a cemetery, and a pet cemetery that includes a cremation center and pet crematory. Our locations are large, accommodating, inviting, and spacious. Many years ago, we decided it was best to listen to the community in terms of making available what they felt best suited their needs in each location. We have made renovations over the years to meet and exceed these needs. We have added cafes, children’s rooms, community rooms, etc.
However, the best part about us is our team. We know we have the best people working with us and that makes everybody’s lives so much easier.
How are you involved with your local community?
I am a social member of the local VFW, a board member with our library, a board member with our Chamber of Commerce, and a member of rotary. I try to be as active as I possibly can in my local community.
How do you keep residual emotions from following you home from work?
I think it is very important to surround yourself with a solid support system. Whether that is a significant other, a boyfriend or girlfriend, a family member, or a core group of friends, you need to have someone you can have a conversation with to help keep things organized. But I don’t think you can every truly leave work at work if you are passionate about this industry. I don’t think it can be clearly separated.
With this being my family’s business, I never separate anything, but I do rely on my support system to find relief in the harder days. If I am having a bad day or struggling with something, it helps me to share it with my family and my wife and talk through it together.
How do you define excellent customer service?
Excellent customer service is exceeding the needs of every family every day.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your career?
I have personally gained a lot of satisfaction and gratification working in this industry. Just knowing that the community looks to us as the experts and as a resource during such difficult times in their lives is very important to me and a responsibility I take very seriously.
Looking forward to the future, what are you most excited about? Do you have any concerns?
As the market shifts and trends emerge, it is always challenging to continue to evolve your business each year. As more and more burial families become cremation families, we have to look carefully at what we are doing to promote value in the overall experience. There are also new challenges and concerns as we begin to deal with the millennial generation and we work to satisfy and meet their needs which are different than the previous generations.
I am most excited to continue my life’s passion. I am always excited about the future because I am always excited to enhance the level of care and service that we provide. I think right now there is a lot to look forward to in funeral service as we see changes in trends and technology.
Do you have any advice that you would share with other funeral directors?
Be yourself. Be truthful. Do the right thing. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. FBA