Jan 09, 2014
Consistency is vital in the funeral business. In a matter of seconds, a director could lose the trust of a family that has been loyal to that funeral home for generations simply by not protecting the firm’s phone lines during the family’s time of need. The sensitive nature of the funeral business coupled with the substantial cost of a single sale requires directors to be hyper vigilant of all telephone activity. When a loved one contacts a funeral home for the first time, that initial call may be the only opportunity to create a positive first impression.
At ASD, we know that first calls are the lifeblood of any funeral home. Our company’s 6-month training program strongly reinforces the importance of sensitivity and compassion. As the only funeral home exclusive answering service, ASD has developed solutions specifically to give funeral directors more options for protecting First calls and pricing inquiries. 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 directors achieve their business goals and increase market share.
Experience the ASD Difference:
This Is No Doctor’s Office
For many, contacting a funeral home is one of the most daunting tasks they will ever experience. It may be customary for businesses like insurance companies and medical offices to place callers on hold for long periods of time, but obviously families need a different level of service when calling a funeral home. ASD’s backup staffing solutions, powerful forecasting tools and unmatched tracking features allow us to answer 90% of all calls by the first ring and 98% by the fourth. Call specialists will never put a caller on hold to answer another call. Our staff will only handle one call at a time. ASD is the only funeral home answering service with the depth of staff and custom-built technology to make this possible. For directors that forward to their cell phones, there is always the risk of a lost call due to poor reception, a dead battery or too much background noise to even communicate. By forwarding calls to ASD, funeral directors have more peace of mind knowing their callers will always receive a prompt answer.
Special Handling for 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. When the caller is a price shopper, that first phone call may be the funeral home’s only chance to speak with that family. At ASD, our Call Specialists can discern a normal message from a pricing call and will connect the on-call director to these callers to provide assistance without delay. This ensures the director is not trying to track down the family after the fact while the family is calling other funeral homes. Callers are immediately reassured that a funeral professional will be on the line momentarily. By reducing the time loved ones must wait to speak to a director, families will never doubt how important their needs are to the funeral home.
NFDA Award-Winning ASD Mobile App
As the highest-rated app in the funeral profession, ASD Mobile has revolutionized the way funeral professionals conduct business and manage communications while on the go. The app provides funeral directors with a wide array of tools and features that allow them to be hyper vigilant of all telephone activity 24/7 without sacrificing personal convenience. Directors have one-touch access to send service or on-call information and can monitor all incoming telephone activity without being tethered to a physical location. The ASD Mobile app facilitates personal service for families by reducing the time it takes to begin making arrangements, enhancing response time for urgent calls and coordinating the transportation of remains without delay. This improves the family’s experience while reinforcing a hometown business approach.
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 when 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 the ASD Mobile app the moment we begin 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. This range of options gives directors the ability to decide how to handle a first call based upon their situation at the time. First Call Connect® delivers control to your fingertips, proving business can be conducted anywhere without sacrificing quality.
We Are No “Jack Of All Trades”
The very first thing an ASD Call Specialist learns when beginning our rigorous, 6-month training program is the potential cost of a First Call for a funeral home and the enormous responsibility entrusted to us by our clients. ASD is 100% funeral exclusive. Therefore, our staff will never be distracted by calls from doctor’s offices, tow truck drivers and other businesses unrelated to the funeral profession. Our training program strongly emphasizes the significance of First Calls, Price Shopper calls and Pre-Need inquiries and outlines the burial customs of different religions, ethnicities and geographic regions. In addition to exhibiting a compassionate phone demeanor while speaking on First Calls, trainees must also learn how to handle every type of call a funeral home may receive before answering calls independently. They must also possess intuition to recognize an at-need call early into a conversation by paying close attention to the caller’s tone of voice as well as unspoken cues. By keeping our staff focused solely on the needs of funeral directors, ASD’s staff is better equipped to speak to families in need and more knowledgeable about the funeral profession than any other answering service in operation today.
ASD’s dedication to improving the lives of funeral directors extends beyond answering calls. Our goal is to provide funeral directors with the communications tools they need to better serve families and maintain a competitive advantage. ASD has raised the standards of what is expected from a funeral home’s answering service by consistently seeking out ways to help funeral homes grow their business.
We invite you to try our answering service risk free for 30 days to learn firsthand how ASD’s solutions can enhance operations at your funeral home. There is no commitment or term – we are confident our experience in serving your needs will speak for itself. Call Jason Bathurst, LFD, at 800-868-9950 to learn more.
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 Jess@myASD.com