How To Stay Focused When You Wear Multiple Hats

While dealing with their grief, families depend on funeral directors to guide their decisions with patience, empathy, and dependability. Every detail, from the wording on the gravestone to the menu at the reception, needs to be designed to allow celebrants to heal while finding joy in their loved one’s legacy. With so many details to attend to, how can a director stay focused during their busy day?

Delegate

Funeral homes don’t usually have a large staff. Supplement your manpower with temporary workers and creative labor solutions.

  • Hire temporary workers through a staffing agency. They can help set up chairs, clean the grounds after an event, or even park cars during large services.

  • Contract with an answering service to field incoming phone calls. Compassionate and professional customer service representatives can answer simple questions, take messages, or forward calls to someone who can help.

  • Partner with local florists, caterers, and stylists. Offer advertising space or other perks to help families select the right elements for their occasion.

Simplify

Making big decisions while grieving is tough. Simplify choices to reduce strain on families and staff.

  • Create comprehensive, pre-made packages. Include the price of burial or cremation, final resting container, floral arrangements, displays, and room use. Use different price points. This will make it easier for families to select the services they want.

  • Reduce the number of services you offer. Instead of arranging things like transportation, obituaries, and receptions, offer families a list of trusted local businesses that can help them with these things.

  • Define staff roles. When everyone knows exactly what their responsibilities are, your business will run more smoothly.

Organize

Organize your office space to reduce the time you spend looking for information and supplies.

  • Keep a menu with up-to-date pricing. Update your list once a month.

  • Check your inventory often. Place frequently used items, like paper products, on auto shipment.

  • Invest in a scanner. Your paperwork will be organized and accessible without adding stress-inducing clutter.

It is an honor to help others celebrate the lives of deceased loved ones. With a little help, planning, and some regular maintenance, you can enjoy your important work without wearing yourself out.

The Worst Advice We've Ever Heard About Answering Funeral Home Calls

Here's What Not to Do When Answering Funeral Home Calls

When your phone rings, it’s usually someone reporting a death or a person that’s lost someone. They may be experiencing many emotions and need to get/give important information. With this in mind, the way the phone is answered is very important. If callers are turned off during calls, they’ll likely turn elsewhere for service. All advice isn’t good advice, and here is some of the worst we’ve heard for answering funeral home calls.

Get through calls quickly

Calls may pile up and some think it necessary to get through calls quickly by just robotically providing information to keep lines clear. However, you should be providing a sympathetic ear. For those on the other line, emotions may be at play, making the call more difficult to get through. Rushing through one call to clear lines for others can backfire. The people you rush through are likely to go elsewhere to find better service.

Correct information is essential when reporting a death or providing information on services your funeral home provides. On both ends of the conversation, information needs to be conveyed. If any information is wrong, it could lead to costly and reputation-damaging results.

A funeral home answering service can solve this problem, especially if you miss calls frequently or find yourself rushing to make sure you catch every incoming call. There’s no pressure to rush to the phone because an operator is available, even when you or your staff isn’t.

Answer calls during a funeral or family meeting

Some funeral directors will answer their phones anywhere, any time. That’s not always a good idea. While it’s true every call is important, so are your other functions. It might be tempting to answer your phone no matter what you’re doing, but you’ll do yourself a disservice. Families want to feel like a priority, but if you’re constantly taking calls while meeting—or worse yet, during a funeral—you’ll lose business and tarnish your reputation.

Employing the use of a funeral home answering service can alleviate the need to constantly answer the phone. Having dedicated call specialists ensures calls are always answered.

Whether you’re running a busy funeral home or are just programmed to answer your phone every time it rings, there are right and wrong ways to do so. Showing people they’re important is vital, and a funeral home answering service can help you avoid falling prey to the worst advice in answering calls.