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The Incalculable Value of Recognition and Honest Appreciation


May 10, 2016

In 1936, Dale Carnegie published the book, How To Win Friends and Influence People, which stands the test of time as one of the most inspired and perceptive examinations of human behavior. The book has long been hailed as a blueprint for achieving personal and professional success and Carnegie’s insights are just as useful today as when it was first published. Throughout the book, examples are provided that support the author’s conclusions about what drives people and how encouraging these inherent motivators can help bring out the best in those around you.

One of the points Carnegie makes throughout the book is how important it is to recognize and acknowledge the work done by those around you. “Let us praise even the slightest improvement,” Carnegie wrote. “That inspires the other person to keep on improving…people work for money, but go the extra mile for recognition.” Indeed, the words ‘recognition’ and ‘appreciation’ are echoed throughout the book as the keys to inspiring others to continually evolve. “A person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected…a sure way to their hearts is to let them realize in some subtle way that you recognize their importance, and recognize it sincerely.”

It is hard to dispute the positive impact that honest appreciation can have on those around you. Receiving recognition motivates a person to think creatively and brainstorm ideas for their next great achievement. This has been especially true for our company. Over the last few years, ASD has been the recipient of several awards from within our profession that have driven us to seek out other new innovative solutions to deliver to the directors. These awards include:

The 2012 NFDA Innovation Award: ASD Mobile™

The 2015 NFDA Innovation Award: MobileFH™

The 2015 NFDA Best of the Best Booth Award

It is an incredible honor to be acknowledged by the largest funeral home associations in the world for our company’s contributions to the profession. When we were awarded the 2012 NFDA Innovation Award, it was a moment of great pride for ASD because it signified the pinnacle of excellence for a funeral service vendor. The award represented the value that funeral directors saw in our company and in our technology. At that moment, we immediately began to brainstorm ways we could continue to evolve in order to take our service to the next level. We realized then that ASD could offer communication solutions to funeral directors that extend beyond a traditional answering service. With our state-of-the-art technology and experienced team of programmers, we can develop custom smartphone solutions specifically to address on-call challenges funeral directors have described to us. With this newfound certainty, we began working on a revolutionary new idea that would become our MobileFH™ feature.

MobileFH™ introduced an entirely new solution for a common on-call problem funeral professionals often experience. By allowing directors to change their outgoing Caller ID and display their funeral home’s number rather than their personal cell phone, directors have much more control over their communication and privacy. These benefits were confirmed by funeral directors nationwide who voted for ASD as the winner of the 2015 NFDA Innovation Award, making our company the only funeral service vendor to receive two NFDA Innovation Awards.

That same year, NFDA members selected ASD as the winner of the “Best of the Best Booth” contest. When we first learned this award existed, it inspired us to consider how we could enhance our tradeshow booth to create an experience for every director who visited us. This led us to create a new booth design that centered around a tutorial video screen, enabling our Technical Analysts to give directors an interactive demo of ASD’s mobile features.

Receiving positive acknowledgement from the funeral service community has challenged and inspired our company to continually seek out new ideas and solutions. For this reason, once a week 10 employees at ASD receive a special Recognition Award, as well as a monetary reward, for handling a difficult call with patience and empathy. Recognition Awards enable us to commend our staff when they go above and beyond on a call to help someone. From conveying compassion to a deeply bereaved family member to earning the trust of a caller who is hesitant to provide their information, there are many situations that require our Call Specialists to demonstrate critical thinking and clear communication. Showing our appreciation for a job well done encourages ASD staff to continue refining their skills.

In addition to rewarding our staff internally, we also give our clients an opportunity to review and comment on every call answered for their funeral home. Our exclusive CareTracker™ feature gives directors an easy option to quickly relay feedback on any call via ASD Mobile or While other companies require customers to call or write a letter to share their opinions, ASD makes this as convenient as possible for our clients. The comments we receive from directors via our CareTracker™ feature are instrumental in helping us to assess performance when conducting employee reviews. It also gives our staff an opportunity to read the positive compliments relayed to us by directors and feel appreciated. We learn a great deal from clients who share their input with us and give us an opportunity to rise to the occasion.

The role of recognition in business should never be overlooked or dismissed. To be singled out by your peers for your achievements can have a profoundly positive impact on the work you produce in the future. We have seen this happen within our own organization and at funeral homes that were recipients of the NFDA Pursuit of Excellence award in the past. Honest appreciation does not cost anything to give, but for the recipient, its value is often priceless and can have a lasting impact.


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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