One of the most common questions we hear from funeral professionals who use our Smartphone application, ASD Mobile, is "what's the difference between a text message and push notification?" While a text message is sent by ASD to your phone number, a push notification is sent through your phone's operating system. iPhone users see Push Notifications displayed in the middle of the phone screen. Android users will see them move across the top of the phone and then display in the phone's notification center.


We recommend that ASD Mobile users opt to receive Push Notifications rather than text messages because of the unrivaled flexibility push notification technology offers. With Push Notifications, you can expect:


Faster message retrieval


Push Notifications will appear on your smartphone seconds after the caller disconnects, surpassing text messaging as the fastest communication method available. Not only are messages sent to you more quickly, but response time is reduced as well. When you tap on a push notification, the message will display in the ASD Mobile app along with an audio player. Instead of texting back a reply, simply tap 'SAVE' or 'DELETE' to let ASD know you received the message. This prevents interruption while keeping you aware of all telephone activity.


Flexibility to make changes anytime


To update your text-message settings, you must contact ASD and speak with a supervisor who will make the change to your account. Push notifications, however, can be customized according to your preferences and changed at any time using the app. This provides tremendous flexibility depending on your daily schedule. If you're on a service, you can change your settings so you only receive a push notification if a death occurs, then immediately after the service you can easily change your preferences back to your normal settings. There is no limit to how many times you can customize your preferences and no need to contact ASD if you make a change. This allows you to quickly make adjustments in coordination with your daily schedule.


Preferences specific to your phone


We understand that not everyone who is on call at your funeral home wants to receive messages the same way. While you may prefer to be notified of all telephone activity even when you're not on call, others may opt to check in periodically unless a death occurs. We realize that not everyone who works at your funeral home requires the same level of oversight. Now, every on-call employee can create a set of customizable preferences to fit his or her own individual needs.


ASD Mobile is the only answering service Smartphone application integrated with Push Notification technology. To learn more, click here.



Funeral Directors Share Favorite Activities with ASD


David Jarrett helps to put out a fire at a residential house 

Funeral Home Name: David D. Jarrett Funeral Home

Location: Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania


Favorite ASD Feature: First Call Alert. I like the stealth message to my cell phone during a death call.  I can excuse myself from wherever I am to get to a more private area and no one is the wiser as to what may be going on. The stealth message gives me a chance to escape.


Favorite Pastime: Volunteering as a firefighter and EMT. Dave has been an active firefighter since 1976, serving with the Citizens Fire Co. # 2 and Mahanoy City EMS.



The Jarrett family has 3 generations of volunteer firemen. David's father served the Citizen's Fire Company and now David's son is active as well. David is an Assistant Engineer and Financial Secretary for the fire company. To learn more, click here.


  ASD's "Favorite Pastime" Series:


We would love to share more photos of funeral directors enjoying their favorite pastime. 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

ASD Rewards Partner, C&J Financial, helps funeral homes eliminate the hassle, headache and cash flow delay when processing
life insurance claims. C&J's FAST FUNDING Insurance Assignment Program typically pays within 24 hours of verification through insurance assignment. In addition to expediting the process and offering a discounted rate, C&J provides a credit to your monthly ASD bill for each transaction.

From now through April 30th, C&J Financial is offering ASD clients the chance to win 3 FREE billing cycles. No commitment is necessary - simply request an information packet here and you will automatically be entered to win (offer valid for new or prospective C&J clients. 2 lucky winners will be chosen on May 1, 2013).

"I have been using C&J Financial since they started with the ASD Partnership. All I can say is they are wonderful! The people at C&J provide fast and friendly service and are always ready and able to answer my insurance questions. I found that their outstanding customer support and vast claim form library makes dealing with C&J easier than dealing with the insurance company themselves,"
-Kirk Popiolek, Popiolek Funeral Home in Barrington, NJ. 
Click here to learn more.

"Outdoor Cremation - the Funeral Pyre of a Mountain Town in Colorado"


Crestone, Colorado is the location of the only outdoor human cremation facility in the United States. Some may consider it an archaic tradition, but the facility in Crestone will perform a funeral pyre for anyone, regardless of their religion.

Funeral professionals say that this facility is the only one of its kind in the U.S. where family can participate in the outdoor cremation of a loved one. The funeral pyre is constructed from a concrete and brick-lined hearth topped with a steel grate. A body is ordinarily wrapped in a simple linen cloth and then surrounded by juniper logs and branches. If they so wish, the family can place the torch to the funeral pyre, a ritual that is significant in some religions.

The funeral pyre is perhaps best connoted in culture by references to the ancient Vikings. It is still a death ritual practiced today amongst Buddhist and Hindu religions, although it is considered quite taboo in the United States.

With a move away from tradition in modern funeral rituals and with the rise in a more 'natural' and ecological approach to the disposition of the dead, outdoor funeral pyres may become more commonplace across the modern world.

The funeral pyre actually dates back to references in the Christian and Hebrew Bibles that likens the rising smoke from the pyre with the ascent of the soul. 

The cremations in Crestone are performed by the nondenominational Crestone End of Life Project, a volunteer group who assists families by coordinating the cremation service. The project asks for a donation of $425 for each cremation. This helps to cover permits and enables the group to offer grief counseling, repose the deceased prior to the cremation and prepare the kindling for the funeral pyre.

Currently, the service is only offered to the local community. This decision was made out of respect for local residents who did not want their community overrun with outsiders wanting 'novel' cremations. The project is also only geared to handle a limited number of ceremonies per year.

Click here to continue reading.


Sara Marsden-Ille
Words have always been a passion for Sara Marsden-Ille and she enjoys writing in many different contexts. As editor-in-chief and content marketer at US Funerals Online and DFS Memorials, Sara's role is to research the behaviors and needs of today's families, death-care culture & the profession and present them through educational content. She is passionate about how technology is reshaping communication and language in our digital world and the role of culture on our consumer behavior. When she is not working, she loves to read, travel and discover new things, new people and new places. Click here to read more articles by Sara.

ASD Clients Have Received More Than $55,000 in Rewards Credits
Start sharing in the savings and 
reduce your answering service cost by 50% or more!

Meet Sue Norbeck: ASD's Most Experienced Supervisor

Every day, ASD Supervisor, Sue Norbeck, infuses our Operations team with her optimistic energy and devotion to serving clients with the utmost professionalism. As ASD's most experienced Supervisor, Sue divides her time between providing the highest level of customer service to ASD's clients and supporting ASD's Call Specialist team with more than 19 years of expertise. She is critical to ASD's team atmosphere and her comprehension of ASD's systems allows her to provide clients with an unsurpassed level of customer service.

We are proud to feature Sue in this month's Employee Spotlight:

What are some of your responsibilities as an ASD Supervisor? 
My duties include monitoring and assisting staff with account setup, assisting clients with account updates, notifying clients about new features and reaching out to funeral professionals regularly to assess how we might enhance their experience using our service. I also work directly with Call Specialists as well by interviewing potential job candidates, overseeing ASD's Training Program and counseling Call Specialists about call handling.

How has the role of a Supervisor changed since you started? 
As our clientele grows, so does the upkeep on each account and the customizations available to funeral directors. As our staff grows, so does the task of ensuring each Call Specialist has the tools and knowledge needed to professionally and compassionately handle calls. Any new features and system updates need to be reviewed and trained thoroughly. 
What are some things you have learned from working at ASD?
I feel like I've basically grown up with ASD. I have definitely learned patience and the importance of teamwork. Above all, communication is key to making it all work and that applies to my job and to life in general. I have grown incredibly comfortable doing my job and have learned to slow down, breathe and take the time to enjoy every day!

Click here to learn more about Sue.

At ASD, we have created a distinctive benefit that allows our employees to stay active at work while helping to find a cure for breast cancer. With our treadmill and recumbent bike stations, our staff can move at a controlled rate while simultaneously answering calls. The maximum speed is capped at a very slow rate of motion and was designed so that Call Specialists can walk or bike one mile in an hour. These stations were created in-house at ASD and tested thoroughly to ensure Call Specialists could type with ease while moving their feet.

With a headset plugged into a computer monitor mounted on the workout station, the staff at ASD can both burn calories and help find the cure for breast cancer. When a total of 500 hours have been logged on ASD's recumbent bike or treadmill, ASD will donate $500 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. This extra incentive allows employees to work together toward a common, greater good.

Click here to learn more about ASD's Treadmill and Recumbent bike stations.

This week, our Assistant Supervisor, Joseph, handled a call from a gentleman who was making calls on behalf of a family that had recently lost a loved one. The caller was hesitant to leave any information because he was not authorized to make decisions and was only looking for information. Joseph reassured the caller that someone was available and asked him to remain on the line before patching him through to the on-call director. This ensured the funeral home was able to connect with the family without delay. Joseph is this week's "Sensitive Save of the Week" Winner!
Click here to see last week's 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 is proud to be a Preferred Partner of the Ohio Funeral Directors Association. 
ASD is thrilled to be selected as a Provider of Preference by the North Carolina Funeral Directors Association. 
ASD is proud to be a Special Vendor Member of the California Funeral Directors Association.  
ASD is honored to join the  Virginia Funeral Directors Association's Partnership Program. 
ASD is thrilled to become a Supplier Member of the
ASD Supports the IFDA as a Provider of Preference
ASD is proud to be a Business Member of the OGR
ASD is honored to join the ARFDA's Sales Club

 Find Out Why ASD is America's #1 Funeral Home Exclusive Answering Service
No extra cost for nights, weekends and holidays 
Family Owned and Operated since 1972 
90% of all calls answered on the first ring 
Extensive 6-month Training Program 
All calls recorded for 100% accuracy 
Award-winning mobile app for iPhone and Android users 
One location in the USA - ASD NEVER outsources calls 
Patent-pending mobile features 
24/7 Business Protection
Call 1-800-868-9950 or email for more information.
Contact ASD

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 current special!



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ASD on the Road

ICCFA'S 2013 Annual Convention & Expo
April 10-14 in Tampa, FL

International Order of the Golden Rule's 54th Annual Conference
April 25-28 in Memphis, TN. 

Every year, ASD looks forward to the ICCFA Convention & Expo and the OGR Conference & Supplier Showcase. These events provide an opportunity to meet clients from across the country, check out the latest funeral trends and catch up with old friends. If you're attending these shows, be sure to stop by and say hello. 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!
NFDA Professional Women's Conference
April 26-28 in Greenville, SC
At ASD, we recognize the enormous role that women play in the funeral service profession. This year, we will sponsor the NFDA's
Professional Women's Conference. ASD's Project Manager, Lauren Kress, will also attend and is looking forward to meeting and networking with other female funeral professionals in South Carolina.
Wanted: Guest Bloggers

ASD has featured the writing of funeral professionals such as Caleb Wilde, Lauren Polanski and others in the past. We believe that the funeral writer has the authority to address a wide range of subjects, both somber and humorous, from a perspective no other writer can offer. If you're a funeral professional who also enjoys blogging and writing, we would be happy to feature your work on our blog. To learn more about guest blogging for ASD, contact

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 of our facility. Use the arrow keys to move from room to room or zoom in on anything you would like to see in closer detail.
Click on any of the photos below to start your tour:
  Click here to start tour from ASD's Operations Center
Click here to start tour from ASD's Data Center
Click here to start tour from ASD's Reception Area
 Click here to start tour from ASD's Conference Room

Click here to start tour from outside of ASD's building
ASD in the News
 ASD Clients in the News
We Want to Hear Your Stories!

ASD would love to profile your funeral home for our blog or industry publications. If you have an exciting story to tell, event you are planning or information you'd like to share, we'd love to hear from you! Contact ASD's Staff Writer, Jessica Fowler, at


Rewards Program Partner

ASD Rewards Partners:
For more information, click on any of the Partners' logos below.

FloralRewards aftermath








Photo of the Month
 Each month, ASD will select a photo we love, shared from a client's Facebook page or Twitter, as our "Photo of the Month." This month's photo was created by Funeral Director, Caleb Wilde, at Wilde Funeral Home in Parkesburg, PA. Grumpy Cat has taken over the Internet and now, thanks to Caleb, Grumpy Cat has finally invaded the funeral profession too! We cracked up laughing after looking at the funeral-themed memes Caleb created using Grumpy Cat and thought you would get a kick out of them as well. Click here to see more.


ASD Technology Partners 

The following companies have developed software that can integrate with ASD.

For more information, click on any of our Technology Partners below.  












Past Issues of Funeral Communications Today



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

Connect with ASD - Answering Service for Directors 24/7.

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