Dec 31, 2015
The beginning of a new year is always filled with new possibilities, resolutions and goals for the future. Here at ASD, this is a time for brainstorming new ideas for the year ahead and different ways we can better serve your needs. In 2016, we will work to enhance our online and mobile features with your valued feedback and suggestions. We are currently working on creating more ways for your to customize your account, building an expanded Archive section for your messages and enhancing our Web Chat capabilities. As we look ahead to an exciting and innovative year here at ASD, we’ve taken a moment to reflect on all of the significant moments from last year. Below is at timeline of some of the major milestones ASD achieved in 2015.
2015 Year in Review
January: ASD Expands Client Solutions Department
Recognizing the importance of responsive and proactive customer service, ASD established a dedicated Client Solutions department at the beginning of last year. While Supervisors are available to assist clients 24/7, ASD’s Client Solutions team was created to provide our directors with dedicated account specialists. Expanded customer service capabilities allow ASD to offer more guidance and assistance to our clients. The Client Solutions team consists of experienced employees who have worked at ASD for four years or longer. When a funeral home signs on to take advantage of ASD’s free trial offer, they are immediately assigned a dedicated Client Solutions rep who will follow up regularly to ensure they understand all the different features and tools available to them as an ASD client.
February: ASD Celebrates National “Love Your Pet” Day
In honor of National Love Your Pet Day on February 20th, ASD staff shared photos of their furry companions on ASD’s Facebook page. This led to an outpouring of awesome and adorable pictures sent in by funeral directors of their own pets. It was a day that reminded us how grateful we are to have connected with so many funeral professionals on a personal level through our social sites.
March: ASD Published in March issue of the Texas Director
ASD Vice President and Family-Member Owner, Kevin Czachor, published an article titled, “6 Ways to Gain Control of Your Funeral Home’s Communications” in the March issue of the Texas Director, a publication of the Texas Funeral Director Association. The article provides several examples of different ways funeral directors can monitor and evaluate how their calls are handled. From setting unique communication preferences to responding to first calls in real time, the article provides a range of useful suggestions to help funeral home staff communicate more efficiently.
April: ASD Attends ICCFA Convention in San Antonio
The ASD team had an amazing time at the 2015 ICCFA Convention and Expo in San Antonio held last year. This engaging conference provided us with an opportunity to talk to funeral directors from across the country about the latest ideas and trends impacting the profession. We brought home some great memories of our time seeing old friends and meeting new ones while enjoying the beauty and serenity of San Antonio.
May: ASD Expands Spanish Bilingual Team
In an effort to provide 24/7 seamless support to funeral homes serving Spanish-speaking families, ASD has greatly increased the number of dedicated staff on our bilingual team. In May, we hit our goal of growing our Spanish team to more than 20 Call Specialists.
Since May, we have continued to expand our Spanish team, adding over 8 new bilingual Call Specialists to our staff. Having our bilingual capabilities in place ensures ASD clients have peace of mind knowing first calls from Spanish-speaking families will always be handled with understanding and compassion.
June: ASD’s MobileFH® Featured On Front Cover of Funeral Business Advisor
An in-depth cover article on ASD’s patent-pending MobileFH® feature was published in the May/June issue of the Funeral Business Advisor this year. The article, “Empowering Your Cell Phone: New Caller ID Solution Eliminates On-Call Headaches,” explained the full functionality of MobileFH® to Funeral Business Advisor readers. It offered many examples of different ways this powerful new technology can help directors manage after-hour calls and provide more seamless service to families. The article also included insights from funeral directors who have utilized MobileFH®.
To read the article on ASD’s blog, click here.
July: ASD Enhances Company Training Program with Group Training
Over the summer, ASD finished remodeling our state-of-the-art Group Training Center for new employees. With synced computers and a large projection screen, ASD’s Group Training center provides trainees with an in-depth look at our sophisticated computer systems. Question and answer sessions ensure new hires advance through the training program at the same level. In addition to supporting new employees by introducing interactive group training sessions, ASD has also expanded our continuing education program for all employees. By creating new learning tools and allowing our staff to continually grow their knowledge base, ASD can offer a higher level of service to funeral homes while fostering a supportive company culture.
ASD’s Group Training classes are being taught by experienced employee, Diego Meneses. Diego has been a member of the ASD team since 2006. As ASD’s Group Training instructor, Diego’s goal is to ensure our new employees graduate from group training with a strong understanding of how funeral homes operate and ASD’s role in protecting each and every call.
August: ASD Published in August Issue of American Funeral Director
In August, ASD Staff Writer and Public Relations Specialist, Jessica Fowler, was published in American Funeral Director. The article, “Over Achieving Undertakers – How Funeral Director Inventors Changed History” is about inventions created by funeral directors and their affect on society and the funeral profession. Since the birth of the funeral profession, ideas from directors have influenced our culture’s traditions and behaviors. From the invention of embalming fluid in the 1800s to the recent creation of biodegradable urns and burial pods, morticians throughout history have shaped end-of-life rituals through innovation. They have also contributed tremendously to advancements in communication, transportation and other industries. In fact, a funeral director is responsible for revolutionizing the telephone industry in 1891 with the invention of the Strowger Switch.
Click here to read the article on ASD’s blog.
September: ASD Holds Communication Seminar Event for PA Directors
On September 16, more than 50 local funeral directors attended ASD’s Communication Seminar Event in our conference room. Directors attending our CE classes picked up smartphone tips to better serve families from ASD Family-Member Owner, Kevin Czachor. They also learned how to better respond to cremation phone inquiries from communication expert, Lacy Robinson. It was a wonderful day of fellowship and learning. We are pleased to be able to offer PA directors a convenient and welcoming environment to earn their CE credits. ASD will be holding another CE Class Event on Thursday, January 14th. Click here for more information.
October: ASD Recognized with Innovation Award and “Best of the Best” Booth Award at the NFDA Convention
During the Opening General Session of the NFDA Convention in October, ASD was named the winner of the NFDA’s 2015 Innovation Award. The award was in recognition of MobileFH®, a patent-pending mobile app feature that allows our clients to call any number from their cell phone and display their funeral home’s number as the outgoing Caller ID. In 2012, ASD received the Innovation Award for our revolutionary smartphone app, ASD Mobile and we were honored to accept this award for the second time from the NFDA. In addition to winning the Innovation Award, ASD’s new and interactive booth received “Best of the Best Booth” Award by popular vote from convention attendees.
Click here for a complete recap of our time at the NFDA Convention.
November: ASD Expands Supervision Team
In November, ASD was pleased to announce the recent promotions of Assistant Supervisors, Lauren Fisher, Art Stretton and Vianny Adames. Lauren, Art and Vianny are dedicated employees who have demonstrated exceptional customer service skills time and again. They joined our experienced team of Supervisors to provide support and assistance to ASD’s funeral director clients while offering guidance and experience to our Call Specialist team.
December: ASD Holds ASD Mobile Photo Contest
ASD is excited to announce we are holding an ASD Mobile Photo Contest through our Facebook page to give our clients a chance to win our Lego Funeral Service set. Running from now until January 4th, the contest will highlight all of the different activities funeral directors can do while staying connected to the office through our mobile app.
We’ve received some great entries so far in the contest. Thanks to everyone who has entered so far – we love seeing everyone’s photos! If you haven’t entered yet, there is still plenty of time! Enter before January 4th. Two winners will receive our popular ASD Lego Funeral Service Set. The first winner will be determined by the highest number of votes on the photo and the second winner will be chosen by ASD staff based on creativity.
Click here to enter our contest or to vote for your favorite submission.
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