Dec 04, 2012
Every week, ASD acknowledges one of our Call Specialists with the “Sensitive Save of the Week” Award for exhibiting sensitivity and intuition on a call which is likely to result in new business for the funeral home. Our Call Specialists are specifically trained to recognize when a caller is in need of immediate assistance. These calls represent the pinnacle of excellence at ASD because we understand how vital it is for you to be connected to families without delay during their time of need. We’ve taken a look back at our “Sensitive Save of the Week” Winners this year to create this list of ASD’s Top 5 Funeral Phone Calls:
1) Training Specialist Karen handled a call for a funeral home in New York whose phone lines were down because of Hurricane Sandy. The caller needed someone to pick up her niece, an 8 month old infant, and was calling funeral homes in the area trying to get through to one that had not lost power. Karen assured the caller that while the funeral home’s phone lines were down, she had a working number for the director and could connect her to him right away. This immediately put the caller at ease who had been trying to get in touch with a funeral home for a long time. After gathering vital information, Karen successfully transferred the caller to the funeral director.
2) Occasionally, ASD will discover that someone passed away after being contacted by a nurse or medical professional who is gathering information for a family member. Our Training Specialist Lorenzo handled such a call from a hospital employee who was calling local funeral homes on behalf of a distraught family. The woman was looking for information on pre-arrangements but wanted to go to the next number on her list when Lorenzo did not immediately answer her question. With a steadfast approach, Lorenzo was able to persuade the hospital worker to leave her call back number and then learned that she was calling about a patient who was very close to passing away.
3) Call Specialist Isabel handled a late night call from a woman who was distraught after her husband had stopped breathing at home. The woman was very shaken up on the phone and, after confirming that 9-1-1 had been contacted, Isabel was able to calm her down by patiently listening and offering assurances that the director would be able to assist her immediately.
4) Training Specialist Jeff handled a call from another director who wanted the funeral home to handle a removal and transfer. The director initially wanted to hang up when he realized he was speaking to an answering service, but Jeff was able to reassure the caller that the on-call director would be paged immediately. Jeff recognized that the other director only wanted to talk to the funeral home staff and did not press him for all of the details. By the end of the call, the director was thanking our Call Specialist for being so professional. Jeff is this week’s “Sensitive Save of the Week” winner.
5) After 11 p.m., the majority of all calls that ASD answers are First Calls or messages regarding a recent passing. Due to the frequency and sensitive nature of these calls, all of ASD’s 3rd shift employees receive additional training and supervision to ensure these calls are never mishandled. Recently, two of our staff members handled a First Call from the son in law of a deceased person. The gentleman had a terrible phone connection and ASD Call Specialist Courtney patiently listened and began to gather information when the line suddenly disconnected. Understanding the importance of the call for the funeral home, Courtney quickly typed up all of the details she was able to gather and made clear notes stating that the caller disconnected because of a phone problem he was experiencing. When the gentleman called back, ASD Supervisor Sandy quickly recognized he had called before and understood the situation. Knowing that his line could disconnect again or that he might decide to call another funeral home, she immediately offered to patch him through to the director on call. The funeral director emailed ASD the following day to thank our staff for their quick judgement and sharp instincts, saying that the family decided to use their firm because of the kindness of the employees he had spoken to.
If you’ve ever listened to a call by an ASD Call Specialist and wanted to acknowledge him or her for an excellent job, it’s easy to leave us feedback and we always appreciate hearing what you think. Simply press 7 while listening to the call to leave a recorded message for the Call Specialist. If you’re on ASD’s website reviewing amessage, you’ll see an option on the right hand side to leave a comment for any call we handle, or if you’re using ASD Mobile simply tap the Smiley Face icon at the bottom of each message. You can also let a supervisor know anytime if you believe a Call Specialist deserves special recognition for a call.
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