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13 Time-Saving Solutions For Busy Funeral Directors

Jan 22, 2018

In your career as a funeral director, you can probably count
on one hand the number of occasions when you had nothing to keep you busy.
Funeral directors today are pulled in so many different directions and, unlike
other professions, there is no pause button when it comes to your workload. The
daily challenges you face come at you like oncoming traffic, making it
impossible to slow down.

With such a multitude of responsibilities to juggle, finding
ways to streamline your everyday duties can make a big difference to both your
business and your peace of mind. Analyzing how you spend your day, hour by
hour, and seeking out ways to complete tasks more efficiently is crucial. Those
few minutes of saved time each day can add up to a lot collectively.
Eliminating time wasters will allow you to work smarter and help you get the
most out of every day.

Here are some simple,
tried-and-true methods for reclaiming your free time.

1. Set Up Automatic

With so many service details and obituary deadlines floating
around in your brain, there is no need to add payment deadlines into the mix.
You have enough to think about! Set up auto payments with the companies and
organizations you regularly conduct business with so that your reoccurring payment
is deducted without any effort on your part. ASD offers an auto-payment option
that can be set up in just a few minutes with your checking account or credit
card number.
To activate, log on to our website and click on the Billing link
or contact the ASD Billing Department M-F, 9a-5p EST at 800-868-9950 ext. 1.

2. Sync Your Website to
Your Answering Service

Unless you’re taking a keyboarding class, there is no good
reason for you or anyone employed by your funeral home to retype something that
has already been typed. In addition to being a waste of time, money and resources,
duplicate data entry is also a liability as it increases the chances of errors.
Even copy/pasting data can cause inaccuracies if the data fields do not match. By
integrating your funeral home’s website to your ASD account via
FuneralSync™, you can ensure information
on your current services are always up-to-date. Best of all, you only have to
type out an obituary one time – saving you time and eliminating headaches. This
integration can be set up with just a quick phone call or email to your website
provider with your ASD account number.

3. Call Forward Your
Phone Lines Remotely

No more running back to the office every time you need to call
forward your phone lines. Whether you live five or 50 minutes from your funeral
home, it is still a time-consuming hassle to drive back to the office just to
make sure your phone lines are protected overnight. If this has happened to
you, it’s time to contact your local phone company and ask them to enable
Ultra Call Forwarding for your line. This gives you the ability to divert your phone
lines from anywhere, giving you more flexibility to do business on the go and
saving you from unnecessary trips.

4. Keep Information
and Past Records Easily Accessible

Whether it’s a family member needing a copy of an itemized
bill from a funeral handled five years ago or an assisted living facility
requesting a faxed prearrangement policy, funeral homes are often flooded with
requests that require a search through the archives. These inquiries will only
increase the longer a funeral home stays in operation. If your current system
for locating old records is not up-to-date and streamlined, it can turn a routine
request into a time-consuming nightmare. Find ways to organize and categorize
your file documents to make looking up any record a fast and easy process.

ASD provides a Deep Archive search feature to help you achieve
this goal. You can use this tool to locate call recordings and messages handled
for you by ASD within the past five years. Search by name, phone number or key
word. You can also filter messages using a date range or categories, such as
‘prearrangement calls.’ In addition to saving you a lot of time, ASD’s Deep
Archive can also help you evaluate staff performance and follow up on new
business opportunities for the funeral home.

5. Use Mobile
Technology to Simplify Tasks

It is quite a vicious cycle –you need to become familiar
mobile apps to help you save time and decrease your workload, but you’re
too busy and overworked to do the research. Here’s where to start: make a list
of all of your routine funeral home tasks. Next, cross off anything physical or
any responsibilities that require a funeral director’s license (such as
embalming, transporting remains, etc.) What you are left with is a list of jobs
you can most likely streamline in someway or complete remotely. Here are some

  • Cash a check:
    Skip the bank line and use your bank’s mobile deposit app feature.
  • Fax a document:
    Use a mobile fax machine app like
    eFax to send a fax from anywhere
  • Obtain a signature on
    a form
    : Easily create documents and obtain signatures with trusted apps
  • Update a file:
    Remote desktop apps like Splashtop allow you to access your office computer
    form any location.

These are just a few examples of different processes that
can be expedited with mobile technology. Many mobile apps also now use push notification
technology to communicate directly with you. This eliminates the need for
unnecessary phone calls and saves you time. For instance, when ASD handles an
urgent message for a funeral home, on-call directors have the option to receive
a SMS text message or a push notification from the ASD Mobile app. However,
opting for push notifications is the faster solution as directors can simply
tap “Save” or “Delete” right from the app screen to confirm their receipt of a
message without having to reply. When considering how many messages funeral
homes receive after hours, this option can be a great timesaver for on-call

6. Be on the Same
Page As Your Team

When you’re in the thick of it, there may be times when you
feel like you’re operating in a vacuum, cut off from the rest of your team.
During those busy days when you are out of sync with your colleagues, it is
imperative to touch base and make sure everyone is aware of current cases,
pending deadlines and upcoming appointments. A simple miscommunication can
result in a lot of wasted time that can easily be avoided by making it a habit
to stay in contact. Use group text messages or team collaboration apps like
Asana Mobile to easily and effectively communicate important information to
your team. Share your location on your cell phone during funeral processions,
removals or other times when your colleagues might need to keep track of your
location. Finally, take advantage of the ASD Mobile’s
‘Share’ tool, which
allows you to instantly send messages handled by ASD and call recordings to any
contact on your phone via text message, email or social media. With this
feature, you can quickly send your entire staff a group message about a new
case or appointment with all of the particulars included.

7. Back Up Your Phone

The only thing more frustrating than being interrupted
mid-task by a phone call is when you end up missing the call anyway because you
couldn’t reach the phone in time. Now, you’ve used up valuable time and may
have lost an opportunity to serve a family. However, this situation can be
avoided entirely by ensuring your
call forwarding settings are configured
properly. Did you know you can program your settings to automatically forward
your line if it is not picked up after a predetermined number of rings? In most
areas, this option is known as
No Answer Call Forwarding and is available
through you local phone company. You will just need to provide your ASD call
forwarding number and instructions on how many times you want the phone to ring
before it forwards (we recommend four rings). This simple procedure can offer
you much needed flexibility and freedom to focus on the task at hand without
worrying about missing an important call.

8. Improve Your
Password Management

The username or
password you entered is not correct. Please try again.

Those twelve words we all hate to read. No doubt, they have caused
us all a great deal of frustration at one time or another. When conducting
business online, it is crucial for funeral directors to use strong passwords to
protect confidential documents. However, it can be both confusing and exasperating
to remember different passwords, especially if the site requires you to change
it every few months. Fortunately, you can use a Password Manager to create and
store passwords for every site you visit so you never have to waste time
looking up an old password again. Apps like
1Password use sophisticated
encryption, keeping information protected by a Master Password only you know. These
apps can also store your log in credentials, credit card information and secure
notes so you can quickly handle transactions online without sacrificing

While you’re reviewing your password management, be sure to
confirm your funeral home has a designated Billing password set up with ASD.
This extra step will save you a lot of time in the long run as it allows you to
make your ASD payments on the go via our website or mobile app. (Please note: the Billing password will be different from
your regular account password. Your Billing password can be set up in just a
few minutes by clicking on the ‘Billing’ link once you have logged in to your ASD account online.)

9. Reduce End-Of-Day

Make a list of some of the routine duties you and your staff
often have to complete before leaving the office at the end of the business
day. Determine if these responsibilities can be done at a different time or
streamlined in some way to avoid waiting until you are about to walk out the
door. As much as you love talking to your answering service (and we love
talking to you too!), at the end of the day there is too much on your plate to
have to worry about making another phone call. Send ASD your daily on-call
information in seconds via our website or mobile app anytime, day or night. You
can also set up a repeating weekly or monthly
on-call schedule so you never
have to question if we have the correct on-call list. This only takes a few
minutes and can save you from making hundreds of phone calls throughout the
year to give ASD your on-call information.

10. Sync Your
Management System to Your Answering Service

The next time you find yourself typing something you have
already typed, ask yourself, “Isn’t my time more valuable than this?” As we stated
earlier in #2, there is no good reason for duplicate data entry, not when there
are time-saving alternatives available to eliminate this headache. Get a head
start on your First Call case files by connecting your funeral home software to
ASD’s systems via
FuneralSync™. With this integration in place, every time ASD handles a new
First Call for your funeral home, information on the deceased person will be
automatically pushed to your funeral home’s management system. Rather than
having to log into various databases and copy/paste information into multiple
fields, the data is automatically synced without any effort. You control
what information ASD obtains and what information is pushed to your software.
Even call recordings can be copied over!

11. Share On-Call

If there is one aspect of funeral service all funeral
professionals can relate to it is the unpredictability of a night on-call.
There is no way to know if your phone is going to be silent all night or ring
incessantly. This is why funeral colleagues must share the burden and assist
one another by providing backup support. If only one director is on-call and
responsible for the transport of remains, your funeral home is more vulnerable
to issues that could occur if more than one death occurs around the same time.
Family members, nurses, police officers and coroners often have very urgent and
time-sensitive questions that must be answered before a deceased person can be
picked up. Designating a backup person for your primary on-call director will
prevent unnecessary delays that are likely to occur if you do not have this safety
net in place.

Have you ever received an urgent message while you were on
call that was meant for a different funeral director? This might not sound like
that big of a time waster, but as we all know, trying to explain something to
someone over the phone when you’re half asleep usually takes about twice as
long. Save time and get more rest by using ASD’s convenient
‘Redispatch’ app
feature. When the message is displayed on the ASD Mobile app, you will see an
option that says ‘Redispatch’ at the bottom beneath the message details. Tap on
‘Redispatch’ and you will be prompted to select one of your funeral home’s
employees from a drop down menu. ASD will then reach the employee you selected
with the message. This tool provides you with the added flexibility to remain
on-call without having to respond to every message yourself. Best of all, you
will have less phone calls to make when you are bone tired.

12. Block Those
Annoying Telemarketers

Too often, calls from telemarketers and recorded
solicitations tie up phone lines, waste time and prevent critical calls from
getting through. Since businesses are not permitted to add their numbers
to the National Do Not Call List, you may assume nothing can be done about
this, but there are several ways to combat solicitors. First, make note of the
phone numbers used by telemarketers who routinely solicit to you over the
phone. Rather than just hanging up, be sure to tell them to put you on their Do
Not Call List. Contact your local phone company and let them know what phone
numbers to block from calling you in the future.

During times when your phone lines are forwarded to ASD,
they are automatically protected by our patented robocall-blocking technology.
Known as
Solicitor Shield™, this feature automatically detects and blocks calls
from recorded solicitors that might otherwise tie up thousands of funeral
homes’ phone lines. In addition to preventing these dial storms, Solicitor
Shield™ also allows you to manually block any phone number that routinely calls
your funeral home. You can easily add multiple numbers to your Solicitor
Shield™ block list through ASD’s website and mobile app. Whether it is a pushy
salesperson, a rude caller or someone you simply do not wish to speak with, Solicitor
Shield™ ensures you are not wasting time listening to messages from those you
don’t want to hear from or being charged for calls from telemarketers.

13. Give Productive

Let’s be real: no one, especially not funeral directors, has
time to write a review for every purchase they make or service they use. Unless
your experience was over-the-top positive or horribly negative, chances are
this task is not going to end up at the top of your priority list. However,
there are occasions when leaving feedback can lead to real improvements in your
life or business. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, as they say, and sometimes
giving your opinion might lead a company to create a tailored solution just for
your situation. This is certainly the case at ASD where the majority of our
features and tools originate from suggestions funeral directors have
communicated to us. Sharing your feedback should not take a lot of time or
effort—if a company makes it hard for you to give them your opinion, they don’t
deserve your business. To send feedback to ASD, for example, our clients can
easily utilize our convenient
CareTracker™ feature at the bottom of every
message on the app and website to instantly share their comments without ever
placing a phone call.

For those that work in the funeral profession, time
management skills will always be crucial. The incredibly short window of time you
have to complete important tasks can lead to a great deal of stress that will
only build up if you don’t take steps to get a better handle on your workload. Without
an adequate amount of sleep and downtime, your ability to compassionately serve
families may be severely impacted Using the suggestions above to carve out a
few minutes here and there for yourself will enable you to better serve others
and practice better self-care in the future.

While it may be true
that funeral directors have to remain available to the public 24/7, you don’t
have to do it alone. Want to learn more about how ASD can help you gain
freedom for your life and protection for your calls? Call 800-868-9950 or
email to learn about our 30-Day Free Trial Offer.

Related Reading

17 Helpful Mobile Apps for Busy Funeral Professionals To Try in 2017

How To Find the Right Mobile Apps For Your Funeral Home
11 Tech Tools That Will Bring Your Funeral Home Success

About The Author

Jess Farren (Fowler)

Jess Farren (Fowler) is a Public Relations Specialist and Staff Writer who has been a part of the ASD team since 2003. Jess manages ASD’s company blog and has been published in several funeral trade magazines. She has written articles on a variety of subjects including communication, business planning, technology, marketing and funeral trends. You can contact Jess directly at

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