First impressions are important and as the saying goes, you only get one chance. Upon initial contact, people begin forming assumptions and opinions about your funeral home. This makes customer service a vital function in your operation. From the time your phone rings, your families are evaluating your funeral home.
Many people could tell horror stories about the way they were treated by customer service, whether by phone or in person. In a setting where your main task is interacting with people, you can’t afford to allow your customer service to be lacking. When your phone rings, you have an obligation to ensure that callers receive great customer service.
Once a person has called your funeral home and the phone starts to ring, your end of customer service has begun. A phone line shouldn’t ring more than a couple times before it’s picked up. Any longer and the person may hang up or begin to form negative opinions of your funeral home. Having someone available to answer calls is crucial, especially when you're away or after regular hours.
Because death is such an emotional and sensitive issue, you want to provide a sense of urgency as well as calm to your calls. This starts with the length of time you let the phone ring, especially in cases where the caller may be panicked. Long ring times convey that you lack respect for the reason someone called or that you may be too busy to adequately assist a family in need.
Caring for Your Families
Once your call is picked up, families expect a sympathetic nature and caring tone. Providing excellent customer service will put families at ease and help them trust you. Being informative and knowledgeable when taking calls is also key to providing great customer service. People want to feel they are communicating with an expert that can answer their questions and provide correct information.
For a funeral home, it’s best that every call is answered and that you do not have to come back and make up for missed calls and respond to messages. Answering calls promptly and letting callers know you understand their situation--while also relaying valuable information--are all key elements to customer service at its best. Start your families’ experience out on the best foot possible by making sure your goal of great customer service begins before you ever communicate with callers.