In 1972, ASD Founders Marty and Barbara Czachor sought to establish a small answering service business to support their growing family. Never could they have imagined their company would become the leading answering service for funeral homes a half-century later, working with more than 9,000 funeral homes across the United States and Canada.
To this day, the ASD answering service for funeral directors is proudly family-owned and operated. From the beginning, our goal has been to improve the world by enhancing communication and help those who are dedicated to helping others. We remain committed to our mission through our consistent, transparent funeral answering service and award-winning, patented innovative technology.
The story of ASD’s growth and evolution over the past five decades is one of passion, innovation, and leadership.
Marty and Barbara established our answering service, Answering Service Dispatch. With nationwide call forwarding still decades away, we worked with locally based businesses who physically wired their phone lines to us. This included Griffith Funeral Chapel in Norwood, PA, still an ASD client.
ASD transitioned to the Rolla paper-based system widely used by answering services during this era. This equipment emulated switchboard answering service procedures but used a DID (direct inward dialing) system, offering one-touch dialing and a much smaller footprint. Messages were handwritten and then placed in a Rolodex-style messages system.
ASD transitions to a computerized automatic answering service system. The company begins utilizing Cadcom Telesystems’s suite of answering service products as part of this change. This includes the LineMaster system, the first digital integrated switch aimed specifically at answering services, and the StationMaster system, the first software utilized by our answering service agents.
ASD CTO Marty Czachor, Jr. creates the very first version of our customizable answering service system using Cadcom’s Stationmaster program as a starting base. This is why we still refer to our system as StationMaster, even though it is entirely comprised of our own programming.
ASD becomes the first answering service to record calls for clients to review in a voicemail box. Along with this upgrade, ASD also introduces a RingTracker™ feature that notifies clients what ring each call was answered on. Together, these two features allow ASD to offer funeral professionals greater transparency than any other answering service.
Integrations with other funeral home websites and software companies lead ASD to introduce a new FuneralSync™ solution. This feature allows clients to automatically transfer First Call data and obituary information between ASD and other funeral home software programs.
ASD releases its First Call Alert® and First Call Connect® features which immediately alert clients when ASD begins taking a First Call for their funeral home and allows them to connect to the call while in progress.
We also add a Solicitor Shield® feature to enhance our answering service system. This telecom invention protects ASD from recorded spam calls that would otherwise flood their phone lines and allows clients to block unwanted calls from specific numbers.
Hurricane Sandy strikes our local area, but ASD stays ahead of the storm by providing accommodations so that more than 50 employees can shelter overnight in ASD’s building. This event prompts ASD to begin exploring remote solutions so that, in the future, staff can work from home when necessary.
During the 2014 NFDA Convention, ASD releases a new version of ASD Mobile, including an updated interface and a new feature called MobileFH®. This powerful, unrivaled solution allows funeral homes to call from their cell phone with the funeral home’s business line as the outgoing Caller ID. Calls placed using MobileFH® are also recorded and stored within the app for future review.
ASD introduces a new Deep Archive Message Search solution. This tool automatically saves ASD messages and call recordings for up to 10 years, allowing clients to search their message history quickly.
One of the most tragic situations we encounter at ASD is when a caller states they are considering taking their own life. ASD introduces our company’s Suicide Telephone Operator Patch (S.T.O.P) System, which connects our Call Specialists to experienced suicide hotline operators. This system allows us to seamlessly transfer calls from people in crisis to a suicide hotline without ever putting the caller on hold.
ASD introduces a Web Form WatchDog™ feature. This feature monitors web forms submitted on funeral home websites and alerts the on-call director when an urgent need is communicated.
Around the same time, ASD begins promoting our bilingual capabilities and offering funeral directors Spanish Translation Services. This allows funeral homes with no Spanish-Speaking staff to utilize our Bilingual Call Specialists as translators for their firm.
NFDA recognizes ASD’s Web Form WatchDog™ feature with the 2018 Members’ Choice Award (formally called the Innovation Award) at the annual convention in Salt Lake City.
ASD introduces a new MobileFH® Texting feature which allows funeral homes to send and receive text messages using their funeral home’s main business phone number as the outgoing Caller ID. By the end of the year, funeral professionals had utilized this revolutionary feature to send more than 58,000 text messages.
ASD develops a new Obit Texting solution that enables ASD Call Specialists to text obituary information to funeral home callers requesting those details. This feature, which is offered to all ASD clients at no cost, helps make obituary information more accessible to callers while enhancing the funeral home’s brand. This feature is especially useful for funeral homes during the pandemic because it makes it simple for ASD to text callers URLs to funeral live streams.
ASD records the 10,000th version update to our company’s answering service system.
ASD officially turns 50! We celebrate this milestone by hosting our clients and friends for an unforgettable evening during the 2022 NFDA Convention. We spent an incredible night with our wonderful clients and dedicated employees.
ASD’s commitment to service and innovation continues to improve the lives of those working in the funeral profession and the families they serve.
Compassion is our calling at ASD. From our funeral answering service to our technology solutions, we aim to improve the lives of funeral directors and those calling in life’s most challenging moments. With ASD, funeral homes can trust consistent and transparent service 24/7. Contact us today to get started with a free trial.