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5 Ways ASD Helps Funeral Homes Grow

Dec 12, 2013

At the recent NFDA convention, funeral professionals filled the room wall to wall to hear Speaker Lynn Elliott, CRME, talk about how to maximize return on their marketing efforts and expand their reach. The class was so popular it was offered at two different time slots. This hot topic is becoming increasingly important to funeral home owners who are looking for a competitive advantage in today’s unpredictable economic climate.

There is a multitude of ways that a funeral home can separate themselves from other firms. From updating the chapel décor to creating a high-ranking website to making adjustments to the general price list. However, all of these efforts may go unnoticed if a family in need calls your number and does not receive a prompt and professional response. When a loved one contacts a funeral home for the first time, that initial call may be your only opportunity to create a positive first impression.

ASD understands how important it is for you to remain connected to families in need. Our company is dedicated to seeking out solutions to help enhance the level of service you offer to families while also providing you with more convenience and personal freedom. We are always looking ahead at the latest trends affecting the profession in order to anticipate your needs. Over the past several years, we noticed an increase in the number of cost-conscious families calling and more funeral homes focused on capturing pre-need and price shopper calls. In response to your needs, our onsite technical team developed features and tools specifically to help you achieve your business goals and increase your market share.

Here are 5 ways ASD can help your funeral home to grow:

1) Patching Price Shoppers

Across all industries, the price-shopping phenomenon continues to expand as consumers become more economically cautious. Families contact multiple funeral homes to compare packages, research available options and evaluate customer service. ASD knows that First Calls are the lifeblood of any funeral home. We’ve created our Price Patching feature to give you more options for protecting these urgent at-need calls. With ASD’s Price Patching feature, any time our Call Specialists handle a First Call from someone needing prices or other pertinent information, we will connect you to the caller so you can provide assistance without delay.

When can Price Patching save your funeral home business?
  • A caller would like prices before providing any personal information. 

  • Someone passed away but the caller has difficulty speaking or understanding English
  • A family knows your staff personally and only wants to talk to a specific person about a recent passing. 

  • Someone calls to report a passing from a payphone, hospital room, or a borrowed phone and cannot be called back.

Price Patching ensures that the person calling won’t hang up and call a different funeral home. Callers are immediately reassured that director will be on the line momentarily. With ASD’s Price Patching, families will never doubt how important their needs are to your funeral home.

2) First Call Connect®

As the use of “real-time” technology grows, communication between families and funeral professionals must be seamless. Many directors want to be the first point of contact for the family any time a death is reported. ASD is the only answering service with a patented feature that makes this possible. Our exclusive First Call Connect® tool allows you to connect to at-need calls in real time, regardless of location or time of day. Clients are sent a First Call Alert® via text-message or ASD Mobile app the moment ASD begins to gather First Call information. This provides you with time to find an appropriate location to handle the new First Call. Once you call in, you can choose whether to listen in to the call or join in, just as if you were picking up a second line at the funeral home.

When can First Call Connect® save your funeral home business?
  • A person passes away unexpectedly at a residence and the family calls, unsure what steps should be taken next. You intercept the call so their questions can be answered without delay
  • A first call comes in while you are handling a funeral service. You listen in to the call in stealth monitoring mode to gather the information needed before calling the family back from a more private environment.
  • A family reports a passing from outside the funeral home after business hours and asks to be let in to make arrangements. You intercept the call to let the family know when someone can meet with them.
  • A death is reported by a facility while you are in transit handling another first call. You listen in to the call in stealth monitoring mode to determine if you need to alert someone to handle the call.

First Call Connect® delivers control to your fingertips, proving business can be conducted anywhere without sacrificing quality.

3) Pre-Need Solutions

According to Citrin Cooperman’s 2011 Funeral Directors Survey, the value of pre-need accounts has risen significantly over the past several years. The survey found that on average pre-need accounts equaled to 83% of the funeral home’s annual revenue compared to 64% reported in 2010. As this trend continues, many funeral professionals are putting an increased focus on their pre-need marketing and on capturing more pre-need leads. ASD has developed solutions to help your funeral home track and monitor your pre-need calls. Our Call Specialists are trained to recognize these calls as potential new business opportunities for you. We can also create custom pre-need reports* for your funeral home allowing owners and managers to follow up on pre-need leads that come in after hours.

When can ASD’s Pre-Need Solutions save your funeral home business?
  • A caller states that they want to make an appointment, but will call back another time. ASD inquires if the call is regarding making pre-plans and assures the caller that someone would be happy to return the call.
  • A pre-need message is taken by ASD, but the on-call person does not respond. The Funeral Home owner then checks the pre-need report* to determine that a follow-up call still needs to be made.
  • A caller responds to the question “has someone passed away” with “not yet.” ASD Call Specialists immediately recognize this as an urgent pre-need call.

*ASD’s custom report tracking can be added to any account if requested by the account contract signer. Call us at 800-868-9950 to learn more.

4) Dispatch Reports and Message Tracking Tools

Benjamin Franklin once said, “For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.” This is especially true for funeral professionals who must often juggle multiple time-sensitive tasks while keeping records as accurate and organized as possible. When it comes to pre-need, at-need and pricing calls, funeral home owners need to be able to track and organize their time-sensitive messages to ensure the on-call staff handled these calls properly and no further follow ups are required. ASD’s real-time dispatch reports enable owners and managers to see the complete message details, call recordings and dispatch log even when others are on-call. Custom features* can be added to any ASD account allowing you to organize your messages into pre-need, at-need and pricing categories online to make message tracking easier than ever.

When can ASD’s Message Tracking Tools save your funeral home business?
  • A high number of first calls are reported in a short timeframe. ASD’s First Call Report lets you keep track of the status of each call. The report displays the complete message details, call recordings and every step taken to reach your on call.
  • It’s the end of the month and you need to track your funeral home’s growth and evaluate your staff’s customer service. ASD makes it easy to review how every pre-need, at-need and pricing call was handled. Our custom reports* give you a breakdown of this information anytime you need it on
  • You’re on vacation, but still want to keep track of new First Calls. ASD can send you a First Call Report for every at-need call so you always know which one of your employees is handling it.

*ASD’s custom report tracking can be added to any account if requested by the account contract signer. Call us at 800-868-9950 to learn more.

5) Transport Company Solutions

Today, many funeral homes rely on a Transport Company to handle removals from a hospital, nursing home or residence when a death occurs after hours. Every funeral home and removal service has its own specific procedures that must be followed depending on the nature of the death and where it occurs. ASD has developed customizable solutions to assist funeral homes and transport companies with coordinating removals. We can notify multiple employees of a passing, contact a specific on-call person depending on the time or date and copy central dispatch so you always know the status of every call.

When can ASD’s Transport Company Solutions save your funeral home business?
  • A death is reported overnight by a facility that has no holding facility. ASD can contact your transport company team and dispatch the call so that your rest is not interrupted.
  • An upset family member calls to report a passing. ASD can dispatch the call to your removal team and then contact the on-call director. This allows the director to focus on the needs of the family without having to worry about coordinating the removal.
  • You work with multiple transport representatives who are on call at different times. ASD can work with you to create a complex schedule so our Call Specialists always know the proper protocol to follow.

By designing features and software that caters to the individual preferences of every client, ASD can greatly reduce the possibility of any miscommunication occurring during a removal.

To learn more about how ASD’s exclusive features and report tracking can help you grow your business, contact us at 800-868-9950.

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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