6 Ways First Call Alert Can Improve Funeral Home Communications
ASD is the only answering service with the technology in place to notify your funeral home the moment a Call Specialist begins to gather First Call information. With ASD's patent-pending First Call Alert feature, you can receive a text message or push notification stating there is a "Death Call In Progress." There are countless scenarios where receiving advance notification of a recent death can improve communications at your funeral home. Here are just a few:
- When meeting with a family, it may be difficult or impossible to answer your phone during the arrangement conference. Rather than risking a lost call or upsetting a family member, you will have time to gracefully excuse yourself before responding.
- When on the road, answering your phone can be a major distraction from driving. ASD's First Call Connect gives you time to pull over and prepare yourself before returning the call.
- In a loud environment, it can be frustrating and nearly impossible to hear someone speaking on the phone above the noise around you. By receiving a First Call Alert text or push notification, you will be able to locate a quieter, more appropriate location to handle the call.
- When you're not on call, there may still be a need to monitor new First Calls, especially if you have a close relationship with the family. This feature empowers you to keep track of recent deaths even when another staff member is on call.
- During a funeral service, you may need to keep a finger on the pulse of the operation while at the same time respectfully observing silence. First Call Connect provides added peace of mind because you can step away to respond to incoming first calls without interrupting an ongoing service.
- When expecting a First Call, there is no longer a need to remain tethered to a physical location while waiting for the phone to ring. ASD's First Call Alert allows you to conduct business on the go while remaining one step ahead of incoming calls.
With ASD's First Call Alert, you can respond to messages when you are available or use our advanced First Call Connect feature to immediately intercept the call. Offering unmatched immediacy, First Call Alert combined with ASD's other innovative, time-saving features ensure directors remain connected with their families 24/7. To learn more about our First Call features, click here
Funeral Directors Share Favorite Activities with ASD
Jerry and Ronda Kayser enjoying their 1933 Packard 8 Club Sedan on a beautiful fall day in Washington State
Funeral Home Name: Kayser Funeral Home
Location: Moses Lake, WA
Favorite ASD Feature: ASD's website and our ability to log on to our web portal and keep track of all phone calls that come into the funeral home any time of the day or anywhere we might be, even if we are out of town. The other feature we really like is that all calls are recorded and archived--that has helped us several times to clarify a situation with families and set the record straight.
Jerry getting ready for a car show with his multiple award-winning 1939 Sayers & Scovill Cadillac "carved side" funeral coach. This is the only known surviving example of this year and coach builder on a Cadillac chassis.
Favorite Past time: Collecting and restoring antique cars.
Jerry and Ronda also own a 1900 era S & S Horsedrawn, restored as a show car, a 1926 Studebaker hearse, an original 1939 Henney Packard hearse that is still used for special requests, a 1948 Henney Packard hearse and finally a 1950 Henney Packard flower car.
ASD's "Favorite Past Time" Series:
We would love to share more photos of funeral directors enjoying their favorite past time. Send us a photo of you engaged in your favorite hobby or activity for us to share and show others what you love to do when you're not doing outstanding work at your funeral home! Please email all photos or inquiries to jess.fowler@myASD.com
ASD's Ms. Helene
For more than 15 years, ASD Call Specialist, Helene, has dedicated herself to providing comfort and compassion to funeral home callers. Known affectionately at the office as "Ms. Helene", she began working at ASD in 1997 when we first started branching out to funeral homes beyond our local area. Our Operations Managers observed Helene's empathetic phone demeanor, excellent listening skills and attention to detail early on. She has proved her dedication time and time again, both through her exemplary work and outstanding attendance.
One of the most common questions we hear from our clients is, "How is Ms. Helene doing?" At conventions, her name comes up more than any other. Some can remember her answering their calls over a decade ago with the same sweet and compassionate tone. We thought you might enjoy getting to know a little more about ASD's Most Recognizable Voice:
How has ASD changed since you first started working here?
ASD has grown so much since I started. It has been fascinating to see all of the changes over the years. I am so proud to be part of this company.
What are some things you learned from working at ASD?
Teamwork! Besides being my employer, ASD is like an extension to my family. As Henry Ford said, "Coming together is a beginning...keeping together is progress...working together is success." I've also learned a great deal from our clients. They are wonderful to work for and are extensions of our families, too.
What was one of your most difficult calls?
My most difficult calls were the calls that came in on 9/11. The callers were stunned and devastated as was the entire country. Our clients and their callers went through some horrific times that day.
"Reactions vs. Reasoning: The Funeral Home Version"
Some days I wake up and can't even grasp what the heck I'm doing with my life. Other days I hit the snooze button on my alarm clock and try to forget what I'm doing with my life so I can get a few more minutes of sleep.
One thing that I really wish I knew was what my grandfather would have thought about me becoming a funeral director. He was always working in my Uncle's funeral parlor. Answering phones, parking cars or just hanging around. I wish I would have known if he would have been proud of his only granddaughter becoming a funeral director. Or if he would have looked me in my eyes and called me crazy.
I get so many mixed reactions. Some people are fascinated and ask me a million questions. Some people look at me like they're disgusted. Some people think that I'm wasting my youth. And you know, every one of them hit the nail right on the head.
My job is fascinating. Every day is different. Every case is different. There are so many learning opportunities. You can't help but to learn and grow at every turn. And yes, there's that whole 'dead people' aspect that just draws you in because it's so foreign.
My job is disgusting. In my short time of working in a funeral home, I have seen some causes of death that would have a normal person tossing their cookies in the nearest garbage can. There have been some homes that I have gone into that have been straight out of a horror film. There have even been some families that have caused me to question humankind because of their attitudes and actions.
I am wasting my youth. I'm not going out every night partying. Heck, I'm hardly going out at all. I'm not being selfish. I'm choosing other people over myself. I don't have the responsibility of a 'normal' twenty-two year old.
Click here to read more
Lauren Polanski AKA Little Miss Funeral
At ASD, we love reading poignant and humorous posts by Lauren Polanski, Director of Lakeside Memorial Home in Hamburg, NY. One of the first things you'll notice when reading Lauren's blog, Little Miss Funeral
, is her distinctive voice and personal style of prose that makes her instantly likable. A recent graduate of mortuary school, Lauren gives a voice to young funeral directors just learning the business. Her willingness to share so much of her life with readers, including her worries and fears, is what makes her candid blog a joy to read. We are excited to feature this Guest Post from Lauren about how others perceive her work. To read more from Lauren's blog, click here.
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Important Call Forwarding Tips for Funeral Homes (Part 2)
Last month, we explained how to ensure your phone lines always forward if the line is not picked up at the funeral home by a predetermined number of rings. (Read last month's blog to learn more about No Answer Call Forwarding). Today, we are offering communication tips for funeral directors that forward their phone lines to their personal cell phones.
In order to retain a truly personal service for families, many funeral professionals divert calls to their cell phones while out of the office to ensure they are always the first voice a family member hears. However, if you are already taking another call or lose service, what happens to the calls you can't answer in time?
Instead of worrying about missing a call every time you forward to your cell phone, let ASD safeguard the calls you can't answer with Cell Phone Back Up Call Forwarding. Using this feature, funeral professionals have the flexibility to conduct business while on the go without the risk of missing an urgent or time-sensitive call. This feature will not forward all your calls to ASD, just the calls that you cannot answer on your cell phone by a specified number of rings.To enable Cell Phone Back Up Call Forwarding, you will need to contact your cellular service provider with your ASD Call Forwarding number.
Click here to learn more.
Do you use the Evernote or RemembertheMilk apps on your Android phone? These archive sites allow you to send reminders, save ideas and store important information which you can then access from any computer or mobile device. Did you know you can use ASD Mobile's 'Share' feature to send call details to these apps?
ASD Mobile for Android's share feature allows you to send information from our app to any application that registers itself as being able to take messages. This feature can help ensure that you never misplace vital information while saving you time. Thank you to Bruce Parthemore at Parthemore Funeral Home for telling us about this wonderful app feature. Funeral Directors have found so many functions for our app--some of which we haven't even discovered yet!
This week our Call Specialist, Bill, handled a call from an elderly gentleman who was hesitant to disclose his contact information. The caller revealed that he was concerned about the future and wanted to make prearrangements for himself. When Bill offered to contact the director, the gentleman initially stated that he would just "call somebody else who is in." Bill saw that the funeral director always wanted to be contacted for calls regarding prearrangements and reassured the caller that he would hear back from someone as soon as they hung up, prompting the gentleman to leave his phone number. Bill is this week's "Sensitive Save of the Week" winner!
The organizations and associations listed below have endorsed ASD as their preferred answering service, supported our company as a business partner or selected ASD for a vendor membership:
|ASD Supports the IFDA as a Provider of Preference|
|ASD is proud to be a Business Member of the OGR|
Family Owned and Operated, ASD - Answering Service for Directors has been helping funeral homes manage their calls and their lives since 1972. With a visionary approach to business, ASD has redefined the way Funeral Directors serve families, combining unparalleled levels of training and advanced technology.
Find out why ASD is the most trusted answering service for funeral homes with a 30-Day FREE TRIAL of our service. Be sure to ask about our New Year Special.
Take Our Virtual Tour:
Explore ASD's facility from the comfort of your chair!
For many years, we have wanted to show our clients the technology and infrastructure we have in place here at ASD. We're excited to share with you a high-definition, Virtual Tour
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Click on any of the photos below to start your tour:
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ASD on the Road
South Carolina Funeral Directors Association's Mid Winter Conference & Expo
February 4-6 in Columbia, SC
CANA & NFDA Cremation Symposium
February 6-7 in Las Vegas, NV
ASD is hitting the road again next week to attend the South Carolina Funeral Director's Mid Winter Conference & Expo and the 2013 CANA/NFDA Cremation Symposium. If you're attending, be sure to stop by our booth or table and ask about our latest features and promotions. ASD will be raffling off some amazing prizes and giving out some new and exciting FREE gifts we think you'll love. We hope to see you there!
2013 Tribute Blanket Contest
Do you order Tribute Blankets from ASD
Rewards Partner, Funeral Home Gifts
? For the next two weeks (until February 12 at midnight), your funeral home can submit examples of your Tribute Blanket Design for a chance to win Funeral Home Gifts' 2013 Tribute Blanket Design Contest
Cook-Richmond Funeral Home Opens 2nd Location!
Congratulations to the family and staff at Cook-Richmond Funeral Home on the opening of your new location in Franklinton, LA
ASD is Proud To Sponsor
MKJ Marketing's Ski Seminar
February 11-14 in Vail, CO
"Turn-Around Strategies for Building Your Funeral Home Business"
"Websites and Social Media, What Works: 2013"
Learn valuable tips to help you grow and manage your funeral home while staying at the #1 Ski Resort in North America!
(Click on images above for more info)
ASD's Pledge to Clients
Our top-quality service maintains the highest degree of professionalism with extensive training, careful monitoring and cutting-edge technology that tracks and records every incoming call. We understand that our voice may be the first impression a family member has of your funeral home and continually review your calls so that every time your phone rings, an experienced and compassionate operator will be there to answer.
The Czachor Family
ASD Founders & Family-Member Owners