How To Turn Shopper Calls into Families Served
Mar 07, 2017
How An ASD Feature You've Probably Never Tried Can Help You Improve Your Close Rate
When you watch a medical TV show while in the company of a doctor or a nurse, you’ll often hear them exclaim, “That’s not how we would do it!” For funeral directors, seeing themselves depicted in film and television is even more frustrating because these scenes only demonstrate how far-removed Hollywood directors are from the reality of funeral service work. In American society, the media and entertainment industries have taken every opportunity to unfairly represent funeral professionals as pushy salespeople only concerned with profit. These are not just false portrayals – they are character assassinations. The image of a funeral director needlessly pressuring grieving family members has been repeated on so many television shows and movies that it has nearly eclipsed the actual work and dedication of the funeral service profession.
For this reason, many funeral home owners have become so overly cautious when marketing their services to potential customers that they would prefer to turn away business than utilize any sales techniques. As a result, when a family calls for basic pricing or cremation information, the directors will provide the lowest price point and answer basic questions, but not ask for any information or even attempt to persuade the family to choose their funeral home. This is a risky business strategy because it assumes that every shopper just wants the lowest price point, not to mention the fact that it ignores what these families really need— a knowledgeable advisor to provide expertise and a steady hand to guide them through their grief journey.
While it certainly makes sense for directors to distance themselves as much as possible from the profit-driven stereotypes they see on TV, many funeral homes are going too far in the opposite direction and ignoring a very simple truth. Shopper calls can make a substantial difference to the funeral home’s market share and growth revenue. Our statistics have found that these calls have only increased in frequency over time, even in those rural areas where directors insist they know every person in their community.
As a business owner, it is imperative to continually seek out solutions that can help your business grow. A large majority of funeral directors do not identify as natura salespeople and are uncomfortable handling shopper calls, but that does not mean these calls should be treated as a lower priority. Rather, funeral home owners should be making every effort to refine their staff’s communication skills to ensure every family member who calls the funeral home understands the value their firm provides. So many funeral homes are missing out on opportunities every single day to making a lasting impression on shopper calls. Even funeral home owners that recognize the importance of shopper calls have few resources available to help with evaluating their staff’s performance. Many have been left scratching their heads as to why certain shopper calls did not result in new business.
ASD has created a new solution for this problem that more and more funeral home owners are discovering every day. When one of our Call Specialists handles a shopper call, we can connect the caller to the on-call director, ensuring that they do not hang up and call a different funeral home. The call will continue to record after our Call Specialists hangs up, giving funeral home owners the chance to review their staff’s telephone performance on these challenging calls.
For the first time, funeral home owners now have an opportunity to understand what techniques work best when handling shopper calls and discover areas that can be improved upon. Call recordings can be used as training tools to help funeral home employees develop more effective communication skills and reach goals. Funeral home owners will be able to better understand why certain sales strategies work better for some directors over others and use recordings to assist their staff with the art of selling. Furthermore, if any pertinent information is transcribed incorrectly during the call, the funeral home will have a complete record of the director’s conversation with the family member that can be accessed anytime.
Reviewing patched shopper calls will help your staff to refine their skills and techniques
Below are some of the key benefits of using patched call recordings:
- 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 details.
- Use patched call recordings as training tools for your staff to review customer service techniques.
- Keep a detailed back up of your staff’s conversations with families
Recordings of Patched Calls can be accessed from within the ASD Mobile app for iPhone and Android and ASD’s website. Simply click or tap on the ‘Patched’ section located under Messages.
If you need to locate a patched call recording that was handled by a specific person or on a specific date, go to the Archived Section within ASD Mobile or myASD.com and change ‘All Messages’ to ‘Patch Calls.’
ASD Mobile's Deep Archive Search
myASD.com's Deep Archive Search
Use the search tools within the Archive section of our app or website to locate a message by date or to search by name, phone number or any other detail from the call.
These handy tools make it simple for funeral home owners to conveniently locate their staff’s shopper calls. While it may seem a bit arduous to listen to and evaluate every shopper call fully, the investment of time is well worth the valuable knowledge gained from accomplishing this task.
In addition to listening to recordings of calls that are patched directly to the staff, funeral home owners can also instruct their employees to call family members using ASD’s MobileFH™ app feature, which ensures that the call will be recorded. Placing the call through MobileFH™ also allows the director to call the family and display the funeral home’s number on their outgoing Caller ID. The entire conversation with the family will be recorded and available for review within the Patched section of ASD Mobile and myASD.com. This guarantees that both the duration and content of your staff’s conversations will be recorded and that families will always call the right number back if they need to contact the funeral home again at a later point in time.
ASD understands firsthand how recording telephone communication can result in a better customer service experience for callers and better-quality employees. Our company was the first answering service that allowed funeral directors to listen to a recording of the calls we answer on their behalf. This total transparency gave us an opportunity to enhance our performance and offer funeral directors a higher level of service. It provided ASD with the control we needed to determine what approaches and phrases worked best on calls, thus improving our training program and recruitment process.
Now, ASD is offering that same level of control to funeral home owners. As the leading funeral home answering service, our company keeps a constant eye on the future of the profession. We study funeral home communication trends and patterns to create solutions that will help funeral homes face the challenges of today and the challenges to come. Our call tracking statistics have confirmed that the number of calls related to pricing, cremation and other shopping-related questions will steadily increase overtime. As this upsurge continues, ASD’s patched call recordings will develop into an even more powerful and valuable tool for funeral directors. Becoming an early adopter will help you to maintain a competitive edge over other firms. Discover today how reviewing your staff’s shopper calls can help you to refine the skills of your employees, connect with more shoppers, and grow your business.
To learn more or to request a demo of this feature, please call 800-868-9950 ext 6 to speak to our Client Solutions Team or email Solutions@myASD.com.
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