Aug 08, 2017
Many funeral homes cater to specific cultures, ethnicities and religions. However, by and large, most funeral homes will serve any family in need who calls upon their services regardless of these factors. No funeral director wants to tell a family they cannot meet their needs. This desire to serve can be eclipsed, however, when a language barrier exists. Communication is essential to the work of funeral directors because there is never a second chance to say goodbye to a loved one. Eliminating the possibility of a misinterpretation is crucial when a funeral home is working with a family who does not speak English.
In the United States, the most common language spoken other than English is Spanish. More than 37 million people in America speak Spanish at home, according to Pew Research. Here at ASD, we are always keeping an eye on current statistics and we recognized early on the need to create an experienced bilingual team. Our Spanish-speaking team now consists of 35 Call Specialists, Training Specialists, Assistant Supervisors and Supervisors who are scheduled around the clock to ensure Spanish-speaking callers can always communicate their needs to our clients. Since ASD began building this team, we have assisted more than 45,000 Spanish-speaking callers.
Recently, ASD’s bilingual team has handled an increased number of calls for funeral homes that do not have a Spanish-speaking person on staff. In these cases, the funeral director wanted to serve the family, but wasn’t sure how to proceed. He didn’t want to use a third party translation service he wasn’t familiar with, knowing that such a service would have little experience assisting bereaved family members and understanding the particulars involved with arranging a funeral service and final disposition.
Thankfully, ASD was able to offer a new solution to this funeral home as well as dozens of other firms that have faced this same dilemma. Our bilingual team can provide 24/7 translation services for funeral professionals that need to communicate with Spanish-speaking families. From providing pricing information to family members, to explaining America’s foreign transport requirements to directors in other countries, ASD’s bilingual team can help bridge the communication gap so that funeral homes are better able to serve Spanish families.
“I have been assisting more Spanish-speaking families for at need and they feel comfortable speaking to someone in their own language. Bilingual Call Specialists not only help the families but also the funeral directors by translating and interpreting what the families needs are such as: cremation services, burial, transporting the body to another country, or preneed pricing,” says ASD Training Specialist, Myrna Russi, who has been a part of our bilingual team for more than a decade. “ASD’s bilingual staff helps callers by reducing the stress and discomfort they experience on a daily basis, due to the language barrier and not having the ability to express themselves clearly. ASD eliminates errors by ensuring their needs are understood.”
While it is certainly an ideal business strategy to learn Spanish yourself or to employ someone who is bilingual, it may not be a realistic goal if your time and resources are stretched thin. Even if you do have a bilingual person on staff, there is no way to predict when you might receive a call from a Spanish-speaking family or if that person will be available at that moment. ASD’s Spanish Translation Services give our clients peace of mind knowing that no matter the time or day, if a Spanish-speaking family calls your funeral home, we will be able to assist you with any translation services that are needed.
Dave Lowery, Funeral Director at Boyd Panciera Family Funeral Care in Hollywood, FL recommends this service, especially for funeral homes located in areas with a large Hispanic population: “If it’s a First Call or if the person needs pricing and they only speak Spanish, ASD can assist us with the call,” Lowery says. “I have a bilingual employee or two working during the daytime, but at night we don’t. If someone speaking Spanish called us at 12 at night I’d be in trouble without ASD there to translate for us. I think it’s a great service.”
ASD’s Spanish Translation Services can be utilized by ASD clients on an at-need basis. There is no special plan required to utilize this service, as we know how sporadic the need for translation services can be for some funeral homes. To initiate a Spanish Translation Service Call, please call 800-868-9950 ext. 2 to speak to one of our Supervisors and explain your needs. You will then be connected to one of our bilingual Call Specialists who can further assist you. To learn more, please contact us at support@myASD.com.
“A genuine effort to understand another person goes along way in the path of communication.”-Unknown
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