ASD’s Top 10 Tools For Funeral Home Growth
Feb 21, 2017
ASD understands how important it is for you to
remain connected to families in need. Our company is dedicated to seeking out
solutions to help enhance the level of service you offer to families while also
providing you with more convenience and personal freedom. We are always looking
ahead at the latest trends affecting the profession in order to anticipate your
needs. Over the past several years, we have worked to develop solutions specifically
to help you achieve your business goals and increase your market share. We
encourage you to take advantage of these features and explore the different
ways they can empower you to grow your business.
“ASD’s use of technology is amazing,” says Funeral Director, Frank Falk of Falk Funeral Home in Hellertown, PA. “We are always available and well represented no matter if we are in or out. The ability to interact with customers via our smart phones through the ASD Mobile app has helped us to look more professional and yet more personal. The fact that we can call someone and have it look like we are calling from our facility makes us look like we're ‘always in’. Our goal is always to look as professional, responsive, and personal as possible. ASD helps us to meet that goal. Our business has definitely increased with the help of their professionalism. The more professional they help us to look, the more referrals we receive and the more our business grows.”
Here are our Top 10 Recommended Features for Funeral Home Growth
1. Shopper Patching: Connect With At-Need Callers Before They Call A Competitor
ASD has created solutions to help you capture more shopper calls. We have noticed a steady increase in these calls over the past several years. Families contact multiple funeral homes to compare packages, research available options and evaluate customer service. ASD knows that First Calls are the lifeblood of any funeral home. We’ve created our Shopper Patching feature to give you more options for protecting these urgent at-need calls. With ASD’s Shopper Patching feature, any time our Call Specialists handle a First Call from someone needing prices or other pertinent information, we will connect you to the caller so you can provide assistance without delay. Shopper Patching ensures that the person calling won’t hang up and call a different funeral home. Callers are immediately reassured that director will be on the line momentarily.
When can Shopper Patching save your funeral home business?
- A caller would like to discuss funeral packages and costs before providing any personal information.
- A family knows your staff personally and only wants to talk to a specific person about a recent passing.
- Someone calls to report a passing from a payphone, hospital room, or a borrowed phone and cannot be called back.
2. MobileFH®: Keep your Caller ID Private and Your Communications Secure
There are quite a few unfortunate drawbacks to using a cell phone for funeral home business. Caller ID, as helpful as it is, can also cause a lot of headaches. From the risk of a missed call to the frustration of being contacted while off duty, these problems can make it difficult for directors separate their personal and professional lives. ASD developed MobileFH® to help resolve these issues for on-call funeral professionals. This innovative solution allows funeral professionals to call any number from their cell phones and display the funeral homes' number as the outgoing Caller ID. Families always know the right number to call back, ensuring the funeral home never loses a call, and directors can keep their personal phone numbers private.
Below are some of the benefits of using this new, patent-pending technology:
- Avoid missing time-sensitive funeral home calls on your cell phone when off duty.
- Families will always recognize your number when you call them and will call the correct number when reaching out to you.
- Keep your cell phone number private without unintentionally insulting a family member by blocking your Caller ID.
- Hear a recording of every call that is connected through MobileFH®
3. First Call Connect®: Join At-Need Calls Live
ASD's exclusive First Call Connect® feature can give funeral directors a competitive advantage by helping them connect with at-need callers in less time. This patented feature is the only tool that allows you to serve families in real time, regardless of your location. When a First Call is reported, an alert will be sent to notify you of the call in progress. The alert will contain a phone number you can call to join in on first calls, just as if you are picking up a second line at the funeral home. You can even listen in to the call in a stealth monitor mode or request more details before taking over the call. 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® helps directors reduce the time it takes to connect with callers in need, allowing funeral homes to provide a more personal level of service to families.
When can First Call Connect® save your funeral home business?
- A person passes away unexpectedly at a residence and the family calls, unsure what steps should be taken next. Your on-call director intercepts the call so their questions can be answered without delay
- A first call comes in while you are handling a funeral service. You listen in to the call in stealth monitoring mode to gather the information needed before calling the family back from a more private environment.
- A family reports a passing from outside the funeral home after business hours and asks to be let in to make arrangements. You intercept the call to let the family know when someone can meet with them.
- A death is reported by a facility while you are in transit handling another first call. You listen in to the call in stealth monitoring mode to determine if you need to alert someone to handle the call.
4. Use Patched Call Recordings as Training Tools
ASD provides our clients with a Price Shopper Patching option to be directly connected to at-need callers who are calling different funeral homes to obtain prices. Many funeral home owners struggle to evaluate their staff's telephone skills because they have no way of knowing how these sensitive calls are handled. With ASD's enhanced call patching capabilities, clients now have access to recordings of calls after they are patched to the on-call director. This allows Funeral Home Owners and Managers to monitor how their employees handle challenging pricing calls. Call recordings can be used as staff training tools to help employees improve their communication skills and reach goals.
Below are some of the benefits of using this technology solution:
- Evaluate the performance of your on-call employees with ease
- Listen to patched call recordings to verify information from the call such as names, phone numbers, addresses, case numbers, and other important call details.
- Use patched call recordings as training tools for your staff to review customer service techniques.
5. Message Archive Search Tool: Easily locate, track and categorize your preneed, price shopper and at-need calls
Many funeral professionals sacrifice valuable business opportunities due to difficulties staying organized and following up on important calls. With ASD Mobile and myASD.com, directors have access to a helpful Message Archive Search Tool that allows them to find old messages, call recordings and dispatch logs. With this option, ASD clients can easily locate messages by searching for a name, phone number or any other detail from the call. In addition to searching through all of the messages, directors can also narrow their search to specific types of calls such as preneed or price shopper calls. This time-saving feature helps funeral home owners grow their business by making it simple for them to keep track of their most important messages and ensure their staff is maximizing every opportunity.
Below are just a few scenarios where ASD's new Deep Archive & Search Tool can help directors manage their funeral home communications
- Quickly look up a detail for a form or document from a First Call handled by ASD.
- Review price shopper and preneed calls with ease and use these call recordings as training tools for the entire staff.
- Look up the date of a death from several years ago without having to sort through a pile of funeral records.
6. Pre-Need Solutions: Customize Your Pre-Need Contact Preferences
Many funeral professionals are increasing their investment in pre-need marketing and on capturing more pre-need leads. ASD has developed solutions to help you stay on top of these important calls. Our Call Specialists are trained to recognize preplanning inquiries as potential new business opportunities. When a prearrangement question is asked, ASD can directly transfer the call to your designated pre-need counselor. Patching these calls allows you to answer pre-need questions when families are in the right frame of mind to discuss end-of-life decisions. This gives directors the opportunity to talk to families interested in prearrangements when it is convenient for them. It also eliminates the risk of the family being unreachable or not in the mood for the discussion anymore.
When can ASD’s Pre-Need Solutions save your funeral home business?
- A caller states that they want to make an appointment, but will call back another time. ASD inquires if the call is regarding making pre-plans and assures the caller that someone would be happy to return the call.
- A pre-need message is taken by ASD, but the on-call person does not respond. The Funeral Home owner then checks the pre-need report to determine that a follow-up call still needs to be made.
- A caller responds to the question “has someone passed away” with “not yet.” ASD Call Specialists immediately recognize this as an urgent pre-need call.
7. Custom Report Tracking: Keep Your Thumb On the Pulse Of Your Funeral Home Business At All Times
When it comes to pre-need, at-need and pricing calls, funeral home owners need to be able to track and organize their time-sensitive messages to ensure the on-call staff handled these calls properly and no further follow ups are required. ASD’s real-time dispatch reports enable owners and managers to see the complete message details, call recordings and dispatch log even when others are on-call. Custom features can be added to any ASD account allowing you to organize your messages into pre-need, at-need and pricing categories online to make message tracking easier than ever. Additionally, ASD provides a First Call Report that gives funeral home owners and managers a simple way to track first calls their staff is handling via ASD Mobile or myASD.com This solution keeps you informed of all new First Calls, even when others are on-call. This can be especially beneficial if you need to supervise a new employee, or if a family you know personally is expecting a loved one to pass.
When can ASD’s Custom Report Tracking save your funeral home business?
- A high number of first calls are reported in a short timeframe. ASD’s First Call Report lets you keep track of the status of each call. The report displays the complete message details, call recordings and every step taken to reach your on call.
- It’s the end of the month and you need to track your funeral home’s growth and evaluate your staff’s customer service. ASD makes it easy to review how every pre-need, at-need and pricing call was handled. Our custom reports give you a breakdown of this information anytime you need it on myASD.com.
- You’re on vacation, but still want to keep track of new First Calls. ASD can send you a First Call Report for every at-need call so you always know which one of your employees is handling it.
8. Transport Company Solutions: Customize Your Removal Preferences
Today, many funeral homes rely on a Transport Company to handle removals from a hospital, nursing home or residence when a death occurs after hours. Every funeral home and removal service has its own specific procedures that must be followed depending on the nature of the death and where it occurs. ASD has developed customizable solutions to assist funeral homes and transport companies with coordinating removals. We can notify multiple employees of a passing, contact a specific on-call person depending on the time or date and copy central dispatch so you always know the status of every call.
When can ASD’s Transport Company Solutions save your funeral home business?
- A death is reported overnight by a facility that has no holding facility. ASD can contact your transport company team and dispatch the call so that your rest is not interrupted.
- An upset family member calls to report a passing. ASD can dispatch the call to your removal team and then contact the on-call director. This allows the director to focus on the needs of the family without having to worry about coordinating the removal.
- You work with multiple transport representatives who are on call at different times. ASD can work with you to create a complex schedule so our Call Specialists always know the proper protocol to follow.
9. Web Chat: Intercept an Urgent Web Chat in Progress
There are many scenarios where a family member may be reluctant to contact your funeral home over the phone following a death. If the person has difficulty hearing or is located in environment where a sensitive call cannot be made, it can present many obvious challenges. When these circumstances arise, relatives will often visit the 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's Web Chat Connect™ feature has streamlined this process by enabling both your on-call director and an ASD Agent 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 provided by your funeral home. 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. You maintain complete control over the alert level of your chat notifications. Depending upon the situation at hand, you can choose to join the chat in progress via a mobile phone or desktop computer, or allow ASD to provide information. By enabling you to intercept a chat in progress, ASD's Web Chat Connect™ can help your funeral home to better serve families in need that may be hesitant to place a phone call.
Below are some of the benefits of using this technology solution:
- Answer questions and capture leads directly from your website
- Customize how you are alerted for chats depending on the urgency level of the chat
- Receive an alert the moment a urgent chat is initiated with ASD's Web Chat Alert™ feature
- Use ASD’s Web Chat Connect™ feature to connect into chats in progress via ASD mobile or myASD.com
- See a transcript log for every chat session via ASD Mobile and myASD.com
10. No Answer Call Forwarding: Automatically Forward Calls to ASD When You're Unable to Answer
Have you ever missed a call at your funeral home because the phone wasn't answered in time? This issue could be costing you new business in addition to damaging your funeral home's reputation for excellence. Did you know you can program your phone lines so that if your phone line is not answered at the funeral home by a predetermined number of rings, the call will then automatically forward to ASD? This feature empowers funeral professionals to speak directly to families as often as possible without risking a lost call. Many funeral homes enable this feature 24/7 so that if an emergency or unforeseeable event occurs, they have peace of mind knowing that ASD will answer the call. This option guarantees that if the funeral home staff can't get to the phone in time or if they forget to forward their lines, calls will still be protected.
When can No Answer Call Forwarding save your funeral home business?
- You miss a new first call because you couldn’t get to the phone in time. The call automatically diverts to ASD, ensuring that you can reconnect with the family in need.
- You leave for the day and forget to call forward your phone lines. Overnight calls are connected to ASD rather than being lost.
- You are having a busier day than normal due to a high profile service. Your receptionist is overwhelmed but has peace of mind knowing calls that can’t be answered in time will automatically forward to ASD.
Want to learn more about how ASD’s exclusive features can help you grow your funeral home business? Contact us at 800-868-9950 or email Sales@myASD.com to learn about our 30-Day Free Trail Offer and how you can test drive all of the features mentioned in this blog absolutely free.
Already an ASD client? Learn more about how utilize all of the features and technology available to you. Contact our Account Solutions Team at 800-868-9950 ext. 5 or email Solutions@myASD.com for a tutorial of all of our advanced features.
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