Nov 01, 2013
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 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 of the Week” winners for the month of October:
At ASD, our Call Specialists recognize how important pre-need calls are to your business. For many of our clients, reconnecting with callers who want to discuss prearrangements is a crucial component of the business. This week our Call Specialist, Crystal, answered a call from a gentleman who stated he had a question about cemetery plots and estate planning. When Crystal told the caller she could contact the director, he stated that his call was not that important and he could call somewhere else. Before the caller could hang up, Crystal assured him that the director on call was always available to discuss pre-arrangements and would want to answer his questions. The gentleman then relayed his contact information so Crystal could dispatch the director. She is this week’s Sensitive Save of the Week winner for putting the caller’s mind at ease and for recognizing the potential value of a preened call for the funeral home.
At ASD, we know that maintaining privacy and personal boundaries is an important concern for many of our clients. Our Call Specialists are trained to never give a caller your personal phone number unless you request us to refer it. This week, our Training Specialist, Sean, answered a call from a gentleman who immediately asked for the director’s cell phone. Sean explained to the caller that while he couldn’t give the number out, the director could always be paged if needed. The caller then revealed that his mother passed away and that he was a personal friend of the directors and didn’t know what to do. Sean compassionately assured the gentleman that he would contact the director who would get back to him within 15 minutes to walk him through the process of making arrangements. Sean is this week’s “Sensitive Save of the Week” for putting the family at ease while respecting the funeral director’s privacy.
A large portion of ASD’s 6-month training program is devoted to developing and polishing strong listening skills. Our Call Specialists must be prepared to encounter any call scenario with patience and professionalism, despite distractions. This week, our Training Specialist, Chris, answered a call from a gentleman who was in an extremely loud environment. The caller asked what time the funeral director would be back and Chris spoke slowly and clearly to inform him that a director was available 24/7. Knowing that information could be easily misheard, he then asked the gentleman short, closed-ended questions to ascertain what the call was concerning. When Chris learned that the caller’s brother had passed, he patiently gathered the details the on-call director needed without interrupting the caller. Despite the loud music and static playing in the background, Chris was able to gather all of the necessary information accurately by repeating information back and never losing patience. He is this week’s “Sensitive Save of the Week” winner for listening carefully to ensure the funeral home had everything needed to serve the family.
More than 10 percent of all First Calls reported in the U.S. are answered by ASD Call Specialists. In our continual monitoring of these calls, we have found that family members who have lost a loved one often ask questions about the funeral home prior to revealing the reason for the call. This week, our Advanced Call Specialist, Chanica, answered a call from an elderly woman who needed the spelling of the funeral home name as well as cross streets and landmarks in the area. Our Call Specialist patiently assisted the caller, slowly repeating information so the caller could write it down. After the gathering the information, the woman was going to hang up but our operator knew to confirm first if the woman needed any assistance from the director. The caller then revealed that her mother had passed and she was headed over to the funeral home. By gathering the caller’s information and contacting the director in advance, Chanica provided the funeral home with time to prepare in advance for their first meeting with the family. She is this week’s “Sensitive Save” of the week winner for helping both the director and the family in this situation.
Click here to read last month’s Sensitive Save of the Week winners.
Has ASD ever handled a particularily 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