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PODCAST: Catching the Phones During COVID

Apr 27, 2021

ASD was recently asked to participate in an episode of Undertaking the Podcast, a podcast created specifically for the funeral profession by funeral directors, Ryan Ballard and Brian Waters. The podcast was focused on what the pandemic has been like from the perspective of our answering service team. Our National Sales Manager, Craig Meehan, provides details on what this year as looked like for us here at ASD, from the heartbreaking COVID calls we have handled to the challenges of switching to a remote work force. In the podcast, you’ll also hear the voices of our Call Specialists telling eye-opening stories about their most memorable COVID calls.

To listen to the podcast, click on the play button below or click on one of the buttons below to listen on your favorite Podcast app.

The podcast offers an honest and unfiltered view of what it was like working at ASD for the past year. Hosts Ryan Ballard and Brian Waters ask many thought-provoking questions about ASD’s response to the pandemic and share a few great stories of their own. During the candid conversation, Ryan, Brian and Craig talk about the type of calls ASD was receiving during the darkest days of the pandemic, the challenges of supporting an emotionally traumatized work force, the transition to a work-from-home model, how the pandemic might impact funeral communications in the future and some of the other difficult calls our staff handles.

“The most important thing we train is active listening. It’s listening to someone when they are talking to you and trying to feel their pain and respond accordingly….“It was our job to tell the families the funeral homes were at capacity… I think it probably would have been easier to not let them tell their stories and just tell them from the very beginning, ‘I’m sorry, we’re at capacity.’ But we didn’t do that. It’s not fair. They wanted to talk to someone, and we were some of the only people that they were able to talk to. Our job was to listen at that point even though we couldn’t really do anything.”Craig Meehan, ASD National Sales Manager.

Further Listening

During the podcast, several recordings are played of our staff sharing stories of their experiences handling calls during the pandemic. To hear these recordings in full, click on the video above. The stories reveal how even though ASD may not have been supporting funeral directors physically on the front line, we were certainly there emotionally.

About Undertaking the Podcast

Undertaking the Podcast features unscripted, in-depth discussions on a range of different funeral-related topics. The podcast is made for funeral directors by funeral directors. Every week, creators Ryan Ballard and Brian Waters chat with guests about all things funeral. With more than 200 episodes of content and multiple shows added each week, Undertaking the Podcast is without a doubt the most comprehensive and prolific audio cast you can find for the funeral profession. Be sure to visit their Podcast page for a full list of past episodes.

Related Reading

ASD Staff Reflect on Answering Calls During the Peak of the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Invisible Front Lines: What It’s Like Answering Calls for Funeral Homes Right Now

ASD Call Specialists Share Their Most Inspiring Phone Calls

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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