With five generations of family ownership stretching over a century, Wichita’s Downing & Lahey Mortuaries & Crematory has witnessed its share of change in funeral care – particularly when it comes to cremation. Back in 1958, they were the first funeral home in Kansas to install an on-site crematory. Fast-forward to today and storefront discount providers are popping up all over the city. They attract price shoppers with rock bottom rates, while sidestepping any mention of added fees or their use of off-site, third-party crematories.
As cremation rates continue to climb, consumers may not be sure what differentiates one cremation provider from another. The team at Downing & Lahey wanted to communicate their value, services, and integrity in a new way, so they turned to Cremation with Confidence™.
Says Downing & Lahey Vice President Allison Morris Walden, “People were questioning why we charge more for cremation when someone else will do it for less and are ‘doing the same thing.’ But we’re not doing the same thing and we needed a way to explain that.”
As part of the Cremation with Confidence™ program the staff at Downing & Lahey now offers that explanation with ease while emphasizing their dedication to professionalism. “We want people to know that we are trustworthy, that we’ve been in this community for a long time, and plan to be here for much longer,” says Morris Walden.
Downing & Lahey’s reputation speaks for itself among families who know them. But what about those who aren’t familiar with their history in the area and are calling around to comparison shop? Morris Walden says Cremation with Confidence™ has been a tremendous asset, helping their staff describe the 10 steps of their cremation process with ease, as well as the pricing behind it.
“There’s a process we have to go through with cremation,” she says. “There is certain paperwork we have to obtain. Having these details in writing is an education piece that is helpful to our families. It’s a good reference point so they can understand that cremation is a three- to four-day process and it’s not going to happen tomorrow.”
Morris Walden also appreciates how the Cremation with Confidence™ Guarantee offers added peace of mind when it comes to their services. Families know their loved one will be treated with dignity and respect, and will never leave the care of Downing & Lahey’s staff – a promise many discount providers cannot make.
Morris Walden says her team shares their Cremation with Confidence™ materials with every family who walks through their doors. “It’s nice to have something physical to give families that explains how the process works, and shows that we have plenty of time to meet all their wishes.”
She continues, “There are some families who have always chosen burial and never thought about cremation. Cremation with Confidence™ materials help clear up misconceptions, like that if you choose cremation you can’t have a viewing or a funeral. [At Downing & Lahey] that is not true and now we can communicate that through these materials without having to push the information ourselves. Families will know exactly how cremation works and gain more knowledge on the subject.”
With its deep roots in Wichita, Downing & Lahey is proud to offer area families the peace of mind and service options they deserve, just as they have since opening their doors back in 1913. Their Cremation with Confidence™ Guarantee is assurance of both.