November 2014 "Sensitive Save" Winners
Nov 28, 2014
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. ASD spotlights a Call Specialist as the "Sensitive Save" award winner each week who handles a particularly challenging call with patience and accuracy. 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 November:
At ASD, our Call Specialist must always confirm what a call is concerning, even if a caller states they are calling from another company or business. This week our Call Specialist, Hannah, answered a call from a gentleman who stated he was calling from a hardware store. While taking down his name and contact phone number, the gentleman maintained a friendly speaking tone and joked about his relationship with the director. Rather than assuming this was a simple personal call, Hannah inquired what the call was concerning. The gentleman then laughed and stated, “Well, what do you usually call a funeral home for?” Hannah then asked if someone had recently passed away. The caller stated that he was calling for a friend who had lost a loved one and needed to obtain information. Although not upset on the phone, the caller’s needs were very urgent and Hannah was able to recognize this and immediately reached out to the on-call director. She is this week’s “Sensitive Save of the Week” winner for asking the correct follow up questions and demonstrating her intuition throughout this challenging call.
When a death occurs unexpectedly, it is common for a hospital Chaplin or a clergy member to call the funeral home on behalf of the family to obtain information. This week our Call Specialist, Brad, answered a call from a Chaplin who needed to confirm the name of the funeral director and the address of the chapel. After confirming this information, the caller stated that someone would be calling back later. Before she could disconnect, Brad asked her if someone had just passed away. The caller then stated that a patient passed but that she didn’t have a lot of information yet and the family was not ready for him to be picked up. Brad assured her that he could collect the details she did have and then notify a director immediately who could answer any questions for the family. She then relayed the details to him and provided contact information for the family. Brad is our “Sensitive Save of the Week” winner for discovering the urgency of the call and providing the proper assurances to keep the caller on the line.
It’s hard to say what specific qualities create a compassionate tone of voice, but undoubtedly you recognize one when you hear it. This week our Assistant Supervisor, Courtney, demonstrated this when she answered an early morning first call from a gentleman who just lost his mother. The caller wanted to know the office hours of the funeral home and after Courtney relayed this, he said, “okay thank you” and nearly disconnected from the line. With a gentle and empathetic voice, Courtney asked him if he was calling about a service or a passing. The gentleman stated that his mother had passed and he would call back later in the day to schedule a time. “I am so sorry for your loss,” Courtney replied with genuine concern. “Would it be okay if I gathered a little bit of information from you?” The caller then relayed all of the details the director needed and even felt comfortable sharing some personal details about his mother’s life with Courtney. Courtney is this week’s “Sensitive Save of the Week” winner for helping this caller feel more at ease with her understanding and compassionate tone of voice.
A terminal illness brings about feelings of complete powerlessness for everyone involved. For many family members, it is very difficult to take care of a loved one while helping them make end-of-life decisions. This week our Training Specialist, Amanda, answered a call from a woman who explained that her husband was terminally ill and she wanted the funeral home to handle arrangements when the time came. The woman began crying while on the phone, explaining that this was a very difficult call for her to make. Amanda compassionately assured the caller that the funeral home would be able to help her every step of the way and asked for her contact information so a director could answer her questions. The caller was distraught on the phone but Amanda was able to obtain contact information so a director could follow up. She is this week’s “Sensitive Save of the Week” winner for helping this upset caller throughout this difficult call, responding appropriately to her concerns and obtaining her contact details for the funeral home.
Click here to read last month's Sensitive Save of the Week 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