ASD Celebrates 7 Years of First Call Connect™
Jun 01, 2017
On Thursday, June 1 st, ASD’s First Call Connect™ will reach a significant milestone. The patented feature, which allows funeral directors to be connected into a First Call in progress, was first introduced seven years ago on this date. First Call Connect™ is the only answering service tool that allows funeral directors to serve at-need families in real-time regardless of location or time of day. Thousands of funeral directors rely on this feature to provide a more personal touch to families who have just suffered the loss of a loved one.
The history behind ASD’s First Call Connect™ feature dates back to when ASD first began offering text messaging and patching solutions to our clients. We spoke with many funeral directors who appreciated these new features and ASD’s ability to help them connect with families in less time. As an increasing number of clients communicated to us the importance of immediacy for their business, ASD’s Tech team began to brainstorm ways we could combine both our text messaging and patching capabilities to offer an unparalleled solution to funeral directors. This led to the creation of ASD’s First Call Alert™ and First Call Connect™ features.
When a First Call is reported to ASD, the moment our Call Specialist recognizes that someone has passed, he or she will open up a special form to gather more information. This triggers a First Call Alert™ that is sent out to the on-call director, notifying him or her of a “death call in progress.”
Example of a First Call Alert™ text message and different First Call Connect™ options
The director on-call may then activate First Call Connect™ by tapping the number sent to their cellphone phone and selecting among these options: press 3 to enter the call immediately, press 1 to listen to the call in a stealth muted mode or press 0 to speak with the call specialist prior to joining the call. This range of options gives directors the ability to decide how to handle a First Call based upon the situation at hand.
“First Call Connect™ makes it seem to the family that we’re right there because we can connect right in to the call, no matter what time of day it is,” says Funeral Director, John Paletski, at Frank J. Bonin Funeral Home. “This feature also allows you to hear what the caller is saying and gives you a sense of their emotional state first.”
On Tuesday, June 18, 2013 the United States Patent Office issued ASD our company’s first official patent for the technology used to create First Call Connect™ (Patent No. 8,467,515). By helping to make communication more seamless between families and funeral directors, ASD’s Technology Team discovered a new method for making technology more responsive. Since its introduction, ASD has performed more than 60,000 First Call Connects. Over the past 7 years, the technology has continued to evolve with the new mobile enhancements.
With the development of the ASD Mobile app, push notifications were introduced to further streamline communication for on-call directors. When the First Call Alert™ is sent out, the on-call director can simply tap on the phone number instead of having to waste time dialing. App controls allow directors to set up their own specific preferences including an alert schedule, notification display options and different sound alerts.
Example of a First Call Alert™ push notification which appear even when the phone is locked.
“First Call Connect™ is my favorite ASD feature. I like having the choice to listen in on a First Call or to speak directly to the family at first opportunity,”-Janette LaBar, Baker Harris Funeral Home.
ASD invented First Call Alert™ and First Call Connect™ so our clients could be available instantly to serve loved ones in their time of need. For the past seven years, these features have given funeral professionals the flexibility to conduct business away from the office while providing families the personal touch of a director, day or night. We are proud to be able to offer this innovative technology exclusively to ASD clients.
If you would like to learn more about how First Call Connect™ can help your funeral home, please contact us at 800-868-9950 or email support@myASD.com
About The Author
Jess 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 Jess.Fowler@myASD.com