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ASD Employee Spotlight: Julian

Dec 11, 2014

ASD Assistant Supervisor, Julian, has been a valuable asset in our Operations department for more than four years. Julian has a natural knack for communicating both professionally and compassionately with callers. He has trained countless new employees how to speak to funeral home callers and transcribe accurate messages using ASD’s sophisticated systems. Julian was promoted to work as an Assistant Supervisor last year after our Managers took note of his extensive communication skills and eye for detail. His expanded duties include providing customer support to our clients and assisting our Call Specialists with any challenges that arise. We are proud to feature Julian in our December Employee Spotlight feature.

Click here to read last month’s spotlight.

What do you like most about working at ASD?

At ASD, I feel that I impact or make a difference in peoples’ lives, whether it be for my efficiency of screening the call and relaying a message for them or for handling their inbound report of a loved one’s death. There’s no better feeling than speaking to someone coming on the line sobbing over the loss of a family member and ending the call with them sounding grounded and prepared to speak with the funeral director.

As a Training Specialist and Assistant Supervisor, what do you think are some of the most important things new Call Specialists must learn?

One would think that it is important to be empathetic when working here and that is correct, but that’s something that is gauged before you are hired and judged while training. The most important thing to learn in my opinion is “call control.” We have a very direct and to the point way of screening calls and it is the single most important thing to learn for someone who is new to ASD. The refinement of tone and efficiency comes after you nail down the screening questions. If you can’t get it right, your calls generally become long-winded and there is far more room for error.

Are there any funeral directors that stick out in your mind as clients you really enjoy working with?

It’s hard to pick just one or a few. All of our clients are courteous and friendly to me. My preference in speaking with a client would be someone that is humorous. When you’ve just taken 20 calls in a row listening to and repeating on-call information, it’s quite pleasant when a client will spout out a random joke or anything that breaks up the routine. Also, being an assistant supervisor, I prefer to help the clients that ask a lot of questions. This way they will have a broad perspective of how we’re operating at ASD to coordinate with their mortuary and have a solid understanding of the best way to work together.

What was one of your most difficult calls and how did you help this caller?

I can’t classify one call in particular as being the most difficult, but one that I’m particularly proud of was a call from a nice gentleman a few years ago. I did my absolute best to assist this man with directions and unfortunately I had limited information. Due to my training and my awareness of the time this man seemed to be rushing to the FH, I asked, “Has someone just passed away, sir?” Indeed this man’s sister was deceased and IN HIS CAR! What a surprise to discover as I was just speaking about directions for about 5 minutes. At this point, I just reviewed his phone number and reached the on-call director to properly assist him. As we train our staff, every call is a death call until you prove otherwise.

What are some of your personal hobbies and interests?

In my free time, I’ve always been fond of video games and reading graphic novels, but in June I had my first child, Harvey. He has rapidly consumed all of my free time and he is the absolute greatest thing that has ever happened to me. I also love food. Every time I cook, I try and learn something new about the meat or ingredient that I’m using.

Each month, ASD will feature a different employee on our blog. Be sure to check back to see who January’s Employee Spotlight will feature.

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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