Jan 29, 2016
At ASD, we are often the first point of contact for people who are at their most vulnerable moments. One of the first lessons Call Specialists learn during ASD’s 6-month training period is the range of emotions they may encounter on a daily basis. We recognize our employees when they go above and beyond on a call to ensure a funeral director is able to connect with a family member or loved one in need. Each week, ASD spotlights a Call Specialist who handles a particularly challenging call with patience and accuracy as the “Sensitive Save” award winner. This provides an opportunity to dissect difficult calls so the ASD staff can use the transcript as a model going forward.
Here are the “Sensitive Save” winners for the month of January:
Many of ASD clients currently use our Price Shopper Patching feature. With this option, ASD will directly transfer calls from at-need callers who are price shopping or have other time-sensitive questions. In many cases, this feature ensures the funeral home does not miss an opportunity to serve a family in need. This week our Training Specialist, Jenna, answered a call from a woman who wanted information on direct cremation. When Jenna asked if she could gather some information for the director to return her call, the woman hesitated and then stated that she had other calls to make and would try back during the funeral home office hours. Before the caller could disconnect, Jenna offered to connect her to the on-call director. The woman responded that she would greatly appreciate this and remained on the line while Jenna transferred her call to the director. Jenna is our “Sensitive Save of the Week” award winner for ensuring this at-need caller did not hang up and call a different funeral home.
When a death is imminent, family members are often forced to divide their time between taking care of their sick loved one and getting all of the necessary documents in order for when the death occurs. During this sensitive time, family members appreciate empathy, patience and responsiveness from funeral homes. This week our Supervisor, Lori, answered a call from a woman who stated she needed to find out if her father had made prearrangements at the funeral home. When Lori offered to contact a director, the woman responded that she would just have her brother call another time. Lori then assured the caller that a director was always available. The woman then revealed that her father’s death was very imminent, but that she did not know where her parents had set up prearrangements because her mother had dementia. Lori listened patiently while the caller explained her situation and then offered to get in contact with a director who could assist her without delay. By letting the caller know that her needs were a high priority and contacting the director immediately, Lori helped make a difficult situation just a little bit easier for this family. She is our “Sensitive Save of the Week” winner for providing the reassurances this caller needed to hear and conveying empathy throughout this sensitive call.
For funeral directors, providing support to families extends beyond being there when someone passes away. Funeral directors also help families cope when a death is imminent as this is often a very traumatic time. This week our Advanced Call Specialist, Victoria, answered a call from a woman who wanted to know the funeral home’s hours on the weekend. When Victoria explained that the funeral home was closed but the directors were always available to be contacted, the woman hesitated a long moment. This led Victoria to ask if someone had passed. The woman then explained that her granddaughter had lost a baby but that the hospital would not be inducing labor until Monday. “I guess it’s not urgent, I just thought we could talk to someone today,” the woman stated. Victoria empathetically assured the caller that a funeral director would absolutely want to help them immediately and explained that the directors were always available when this type of situation occurs. The caller was very relieved to hear this and she then provided all of the details so Victoria could notify the on-call. Victoria is our “Sensitive Save of the Week” winner for giving this caller peace of mind and ensuring the family understood their needs were important to the funeral home.
It is common for friends of the family to call a funeral home to report a passing when relatives are too upset to speak or when there is a language barrier. This week our Training Specialist, Brittany, answered at a call from a woman who stated she was lost trying to find the funeral home. After Brittney provided some details on the funeral home location, she inquired if the woman was coming for an appointment. The woman than began speaking to someone else in a different language who sounded very upset. A moment later she returned to the line and stated that she was trying to come to the funeral home to make arrangements. Brittany inquired if someone had passed and the woman confirmed that her friend’s husband had died and the immediate family could only speak Russian. Brittany assured the caller that a director would be notified without delay and asked if she could gather a little information. The caller then relayed all of the information the funeral home needed by translating for her friend. Brittany is our “Sensitive Save of the Week Winner” because her patience and attention to detail ensured the on-call director could reconnect with the family immediately.
Click here to read about December’s “Sensitive Save of the Week” Award Winners
Has ASD ever handled a particularly difficult or challenging call for your funeral home? Leave us a comment and tell us about it!
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