ASD Receives an ICCFA “Keeping It Personal” Award

Feb 18, 2016

ASD is honored to be recognized by the ICCFA with a 2015 Keeping it Personal Award. ASD received honorable mention for our exclusive Web Chat Connect™ feature. We look forward to the upcoming ICCFA Convention in New Orleans where all of the KIP award recipients will be honored. This year, ASD will be exhibiting in Booth #419. Stop by to see a demo of our Web Chat capabilities and our other cutting-edge features. Learn how ASD’s technology can help your funeral home achieve a competitive advantage. We hope to see you there!


STERLING, VA— Answering Service for Directors (ASD) in Media, Pennsylvania, has won an honorable mention in the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association’s 2015 Keeping It Personal (KIP) Awards, recognizing the best in personalization in the cemetery, funeral service and cremation profession.

Created by the ICCFA Personalization Committee, the KIP program honors recipients in five categories. ASD was honored with honorable mention in the Innovative Personalized Product category.

The ICCFA’s 2015 KIP Awards contest attracted 32 entries from the United States and Canada. Communications and marketing professionals from outside the cemetery and funeral service profession performed the judging.

ASD developed their Web Chat Connect™ to help connect families and funeral directors. It offers a way for people to communicate in a way that makes them feel less overwhelmed and not pressured to make a decision in a real time atmosphere. Funeral directors are involved via a 3-way chat system so that they can offer immediate assistance and provide a higher level of service to their customers.

All KIP Awards recipients will be recognized at the ICCFA 2016 Annual Convention & Exposition, April 13-16 at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, and in ICCFA Magazine.

Founded in 1887, the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association (ICCFA) is the only international trade association representing all segments of the cemetery, cremation, funeral and memorialization industry. Its membership is composed of more than 9,100 rooftop locations and 18,000 professionals in the cemetery, funeral home and crematory industries, as well as memorial designers and related businesses worldwide. To learn more, please visit or connect with ICCFA on Facebook and Twitter.


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ASD – Answering Service for Directors has developed the Web Chat Connect™ feature to increase the speed of communication between families and funeral directors while reducing friction arising from grief or when a relative has difficulties using a telephone. While many website providers offer web chat, Web Chat Connect™ is the only solution that allows funeral professionals to connect directly into a live chat. Directors can respond to questions in real time regardless of their location. This proprietary tool greatly enhances online communication for funeral homes, helping directors to provide a higher level of service and personal attention to families.

There are many scenarios where a family member may be reluctant to contact a funeral home over the phone following a death. If the person has difficulty hearing, is located in environment where a sensitive call cannot be made, or is too overwhelmed with emotion to communicate verbally, it can present many obvious challenges. A common scenario is that the person may want to gather information without feeling compelled to make an immediate decision. When these circumstances arise, relatives will often visit a funeral home’s website and search for a web chat button. However, if the person does not receive an answer within a reasonable timeframe, it is likely they will feel slighted and may then contact a different funeral home—a competitor.

ASD has streamlined this process by enabling both an ASD Agent and on-call director to be involved with web chat sessions via a 3-way chat. When a chat is initiated, an ASD Agent immediately responds to the question using information that has been customized by director. If the question is urgent, a notification is automatically sent to the on-call director’s mobile phone alerting them that there is a chat session in progress. Directors have full control over the alert level of their notifications.

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Depending upon the situation at hand, the director can choose to join the chat in progress via a mobile phone or desktop computer or allow the ASD Agent to provide information. Answers to common questions can be programmed in advance, ensuring that employment information, driving directions, florist recommendations or service details can be communicated by ASD to website visitors within seconds. Directors can also review a transcript of every chat session.

In today’s rapidly changing world, 97% of consumers will search for local businesses online, according to data released by Google. In a study conducted by Forrester, 44% of participants said that web chat is one of the most important features a website can offer. Many funeral directors recognize that their community needs a responsive website but have difficulty staying on top of incoming web requests. ASD’s Web Chat Connect™ simplifies this process by making it possible for directors to receive a notification when an urgent need is communicated and respond from anywhere. By allowing directors to intercept a chat in progress, ASD is empowering directors to better serve families in need who may be hesitant to place a phone call.

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To learn more about ASD’s Web Chat Connect feature or to add our Web Chat button to your funeral home’s website, contact ASD Technical Analysts, Kristine Soderland or Will Chicola at 800-868-9950 or email

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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