For a family member who has just lost a loved one, making that first phone call to a funeral home can be a daunting and intimidating task. Offering these callers immediate guidance and reassurance can help create an instant connection between the family and the funeral home. ASD is pleased to introduce a new texting feature that can help your firm achieve this goal.
Available exclusively to ASD clients, the NEXT STEP Text™ allows funeral homes to provide important resources to families via text message immediately following their first call. When handling a new first call from a family member, ASD will now offer to send the caller a text message from your funeral home that includes the next steps families can expect in the funeral planning process.
We understand family members frequently have many questions and concerns on their mind while they are waiting for a funeral director to return their call. This is why ASD created the NEXT STEP Text™ to provide families with a helpful checklist they can focus on while waiting to speak to your funeral director. The text can be customized to include a link to any page on the funeral home website.
You can choose to have a link sent directly to a specific resource page on your website or to this pre-written page which will be customized with your funeral home’s name and website URL at the top. (Click to enlarge)
“The time that occurs between ASD handling a death call and the on-call funeral director returning their call may be of a short duration, but a lot can happen in those few minutes. Having the ability to immediately send a text message with valuable information to that family demonstrates a higher level of customer care,” says ASD Vice President and Family-Member Owner, Kevin Czachor. “The great thing about our NEXT STEP Text™ is funeral directors don’t have do a thing on their end. It is built into our telephone systems and completely effortless for the funeral home. ASD is the only answering service in operation that has the training and technology in place to be able to offer this service.”
In addition to immediately providing families with helpful information, the NEXT STEP Text™ also opens a new channel of communication for YOUR funeral home. By initiating contact via text, this feature reinforces your funeral home’s commitment to customer service by giving families multiple ways to interact with you. In addition, ASD’s complementary MobileFH Texting® feature makes it possible for you and your team to send or receive text messages on your cell phones using the funeral home’s main phone number. This means that any replies from the family to the NEXT STEP Text™ will be logged within the ASD Mobile app and sent directly to your on-call funeral director.
Funeral directors also now have the ability to conveniently send out a NEXT STEP Text™ themselves with one touch using the ASD Mobile app. This feature was added to ASD Mobile for iPhone this week and will be available on the Android app in the coming months.
NEXT STEP Text™ Activation
In order for the NEXT STEP Text™ to be enabled on an ASD client’s account, the funeral home must have our MobileFH Texting® feature already activated. This action is required to send the NEXT STEP Text™ from the funeral home’s main business phone number. MobileFH® Texting requires a separate authorization from the contract signer, owner or manager of your ASD account. To enable this feature, open the ASD Mobile app and pull up the left side menu by swiping left to right on the home screen, and then click Turn On under MobileFH Texting®. Please note: MobileFH® Texting is compatible with most but not all phone service providers. To learn more, please email solutions@myASD.com or call 800-868-9950 and ask to speak to our Client Solutions team.
On Tuesday, August 9th, ASD automatically activated our NEXT STEP Text™ for EVERY client who had enabled MobileFH Texting®. Both features are currently being offered at no cost for a limited time to help our clients better serve families and their communities. If you are currently using MobileFH Texting® and would like to opt out of our NEXT STEP Text™ solution, please email Solutions@myASD.com.
NEXT STEP Text™ Future Applications
Technology has created new opportunities for funeral home owners to enrich the experiences of consumers and provide an even higher level of service. ASD’s new NEXT STEP Text™ solution was specifically designed by our technology team to help your funeral home to position itself as a resource to families from their very first call. We are also in the process of developing several complementary features to our new NEXT STEP Text™ solution.
We hope to work closely with funeral homes who are interested in this service to help you create a text message strategy that works for your firm. There are numerous ways this technology can be utilized such as texting the funeral home’s GPL to callers who need prices or sending a link to your FAQ when family members have general questions. In the future, ASD also hopes to develop a solution for texting the funeral home’s preneed literature to callers who express an interest in prearrangements.
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