Why a Specialized Answering Service Matters

There are many answering services available. If you search the internet, you'll find that you have plenty of options. For a funeral home, you want an answering service that caters specifically to funeral directors.

Dealing with Emotions

Why does it matter what answering service you use? Well, think of the services you offer. You're helping families bury loved ones. You're dealing with people in one of their most vulnerable and emotional times. You need call specialists that understand the nature of what you do and know how to handle emotional families. A kind and caring nature is essential.

Answering services that specialize in working with funeral homes understand these things and select call agents who possess the right qualities to work in those conditions. Several parts of a call agent’s job can be taught — such as your funeral home’s information — but the emotional part has to be innate.

Understanding Time

When it comes to death, time is of the essence. An answering service for funeral homes knows that every call must be answered in a timely manner, no matter when they come in. They also understand which situations require immediate attention and which can wait for normal business hours or a return call from the funeral director.

Proper Training

Properly trained call specialists are one of the most important reasons you'd benefit from an answering service that specializes in funeral homes. A service that caters to funeral homes will have the proper training and techniques in place so you can be sure that you're getting the best service and that the needs of your funeral home are being provided. In addition, the call specialists will have more experience and knowledge of how a funeral home works, what they do, and what families expect when calling.

If you're going to trust your phone lines to an answering service, you want to choose one that specializes in serving funeral homes. You can rest assured knowing they'll have the training, knowledge and understanding, as well as the caring nature to provide a positive experience for the families that call on you for service. 

Congratulations to the Team at Director On Call on the 2016 ‘ATSI Award of Excellence’ for Exceptional Service!

At the Association of TeleServices International 2016 Annual Conference at the Hilton Downtown Tampa, Florida, Director On Call was named the 13-Year Diamond Plus Winner of the 2016 Award of Excellence for providing outstanding customer service!

Director On Call are Industry Leaders providing premier live answering services since 1948. They are proud recipients of the prestigious Diamond + Award of Excellence from ATSI (Association of TeleServices  International) and coveted ATSI Award winners since 2003!”    

The Award of Excellence program was introduced to improve the quality of the call center industry overall by setting expectations and measurements that service providers could follow for successful call handling.

The ATSI Award of Excellence Program recognizes that excellence requires a level of service that considers the caller first in every aspect of the call.  Judges conduct mystery calls and evaluate them on response time, courtesy, accuracy of call, knowledge of the account and overall impression of the call. Association Members can obtain different levels of prestige.

 “Companies that earn this award are continuously focusing on delivering first class service to their customers.  It is truly an honor!” Says ATSI President Jeffrey W. Zindel.

About ATSI

The Association of Teleservices International (ATSI) organization, founded in 1942, represents the best of TeleService agencies in the world. They are dedicated to enhancing the value of members of the association by providing R&D, support, educational resources as well as maintaining high standards of ethics and services and promoting fair competition through various award programs, recognizing those members that exhibit excellence.

The Award of Excellence is presented annually by the ATSI, which is the industry’s Trade Association for providers of telecommunication and call center services including telephone answering and message delivery across North America and the UK.

About Director On Call

Now a 13 time winner, Director On Call  consistently provides specialized solutions and unparalleled answering 

From taking and relaying messages to First Calls, Director On Call offers professional and transparent representation.  

Thank you once again to our Team of Experts for your relentless dedication and commitment to superior service on every call!

3 Things Families Want to Hear When They Call Your Funeral Home

When a family calls your funeral home for service, they expect the person on the other end of the phone to be sympathetic and knowledgeable. There are certain things they want to hear to give them confidence in what you can deliver. Below are three things families want to hear when they call your funeral home.

1. Someone Answering the Phone

The families that call your funeral home for service want to hear a live person answer their call. Since death is unpredictable and happens on its own time, people expect to be able to reach someone at the funeral home whenever a loved one passes. Reaching a voicemail or busy signal is not what they want.

Having a person answer every call is reassuring to a family that has just lost someone. Automated voice answering can be confusing and frustrating; but with an actual person on the line, families can get their questions answered and get any information they might need.  

2. A Kind Voice

The families that call have lost someone dear to them and are experiencing many emotions including grief, stress and more. People have grown to expect funeral homes to provide a sympathetic ear and to be calm for their storms. Calling your funeral home is no different. The person answering your calls is expected to provide a kind and calming tone and experience to your callers.

At a time when families are full of emotion and grieving loss, they want to hear someone make them feel as if everything will be alright.

3. Information

Information is a necessity for families planning a funeral. When they call, they want correct, up-to-date information and families want information that they present to be conveyed as well. The person answering the phone has to instill confidence in the family that they're knowledgeable and your funeral home is capable of helping them.

Being confident and presenting information correctly and thoroughly helps assure families that your funeral home is the best place to put their loved one to rest. Lack of information will have them wondering and seeking other funeral homes.

Families that call your funeral home for service are looking for certain things they've come to expect. If your callers hear these three things, you can be sure that you're providing what they want.

How Call Forwarding Gives You Freedom

Being a funeral director means long days and nights, constantly being available and a life that typically revolves around your funeral home... and your phone. At least, that’s how things used to be. You can’t ignore a ringing phone in a funeral home. Now you have more options, and the advancements in technology and service make it easier for you to break away and enjoy more of your life. With options like call forwarding, you can get your freedom back.

The Freedom of Call Forwarding

Death occurs on its own time and in most instances it can’t be predicted. Funeral homes are expected to be able to provide services at any hour which has typically meant that as a funeral director, you have to be on call and ready to drop what you’re doing without notice. This affects your freedom significantly.

Call forwarding is an option that can greatly increase your ability to step away from the phone. Instead of being tied down to the funeral home or always on call, any calls you can’t directly take can be forwarded to an answering service for funeral directors. With options in forwarding that would only send specific calls to you, you will receive fewer calls and know that the calls that do come to you are truly important and require your immediate attention.

No Missed Calls

Missing calls adversely affects your funeral home because you can miss out on the opportunity to help families in need. With call forwarding, you no longer have to worry about missing calls. Whether you are at the funeral home meeting with a family or managing a funeral service or away on vacation with family and want to enjoy every minute without interruptions, call forwarding to a funeral home answering service answers those forwarded calls for you.

There are other reasons you may not be able to answer the phone as well including:

  • Bad service area

  • Dead battery

  • Misplaced phone

  • Busy lines

Call forwarding takes care of all these issues.

When you no longer have to plan your life around phone calls, you are free to plan around yourself. Being in dead zones or not being able or wanting to answer the phone at particular times is not a problem with call forwarding. You can enjoy your newly minted freedom from the phones and rest assured that your families' calls are still being answered.

Funeral Directors: Family Service Begins the Moment the Phone Rings

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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.

Minimize Rings

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.

4 Questions to Ask Your Funeral Home Answering Service

Funeral homes are on a different plane in the way people are helped. Hiring a funeral home answering service to handle your calls can be daunting as you search for a service that you feel comfortable enough with to take the reins. Before choosing a service, you need to know what they offer. Here are four questions to ask your funeral home answering service to know if they're right for you.

What Type of Calls Do You Handle?

As a funeral director, you know it's critical to have the right demeanor with grieving family members. An answering service specializing in helping funeral directors provides a more personalized experience for callers and typically has more specific training to handle the delicate nature of funeral home calls.

What Are Your Training Methods?

The calls that funeral homes receive are unlike those found in other businesses. You deal with extreme emotions. The ways in which an answering service trains its agents is one of the most important things you need to know. Generic answering service training is not enough for call specialists to be able to deal with the types of calls funeral directors typically receive.

As a funeral director, you understand the sympathetic and knowledgeable nature necessary. The answering service should provide you with training methods and ensure that the agents can handle families in a respectful and caring manner while still providing valuable information.

Are Services Customizable?

Funeral home answering services should provide several plans to fit your needs and budget. They should also get information from you to ensure that they're giving your callers information that is unique to your funeral home.

What Services Are Offered?

You may need several options to feel comfortable with an answering service or maybe just a few. Find out what the service can do for you and what options they provide such as:

  • Call forwarding

  • Live chat

  • Calling families

When it comes to your funeral home, you want the best for your families. The same care should be taken when selecting a funeral home answering service, and these questions can help you narrow your search down to the best.

3 Reasons Why Connections Are Essential in the Funeral Profession

The Personal Touch: Why Connections are Essential in the Funeral Profession

We live in an ever-changing society. As technology and social norms shift, the connections that many businesses make with the people they serve have continued to diminish. For funeral homes, this is a startling trend. For anyone involved in serving others, the connections made are all too important to continued growth. Here are a few reasons connecting with your families is essential.

Sense of Community

Funeral homes are typically pillars in the community, though there may be several in an area. So what sets you apart from the rest? Relating with the families you serve and holding that connection makes you a valuable resource to your community.

For your funeral home to garner a sense of importance in the community, forging connections with families, businesses and community leaders is important.

Reputation

The people patronizing your funeral home almost solely determine your reputation. Are you professional and courteous? Do you put the needs of your families above all else? How satisfied are people with the services they receive? These questions should be running through your mind as you evaluate the connections you make with the families you serve.

It's vital that you maintain a positive reputation, and this comes from the relationships you build. Although you are helping people during a time of great need, you still have to remain competitive and maintaining a positive reputation is one step in that direction. The only way to gain that reputation is to make sure that you are forming positive connections with the families you serve.

Repeat Business

Though you may not like to necessarily think of the bottom line, you are a business. Serving is your main goal and staying open to doing this is necessary. Do things the right way and make the right connections, and you could forge a lasting relationship with families in your community that keeps them returning to you whenever they experience loss.

People can take their business anywhere. You want them to come to you when they are in need and have lost loved ones, every time. The experience you provide and the way you connect to these families determines whether they will come to you if they need to in the future.

The personal touch that you provide to your families is one of the only things that will propel your funeral home and help you continue to operate for years to come.

4 Reasons Why Leisure Time is Essential for Funeral Directors

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. You’ve probably heard this expression, but are you aware of what it means or how true it is? It’s an old proverb that means constantly working makes you boring and bored. Everybody needs a break every now and then, especially funeral directors. You assist families in some of their most difficult times and it can get overwhelming. Here are four reasons your leisure time is so important.

Avoid Burnout/Compassion Fatigue

Burnout and compassion fatigue are real problems that many funeral directors face during their years of service. Dealing with either can take a toll on your health, your life, and those around you. Most sufferers become susceptible because their energy is spent serving others. Though this seems like the model of success, it leads to problems that outweigh it.

Your leisure time is essential because it can help you avoid falling to the effects of compassion fatigue and burnout.

Connect with the Living

Being surrounded by death all the time is morbid and can affect you in ways you might not recognize right away. Your leisure time allows you to forge relationships with the living. Making connections with others goes a long way to maintaining emotional and mental stability when you find yourself being overtaken by the emotions surrounding a person’s death.

Enjoy Life

Difficulties arise when you spend most of your time planning funeral services for the dead and carrying a family’s grief on your shoulders. Time off from the funeral home is yours to enjoy anything life offers. Whether you read a few books from your favorite author or go on a family trip, being able to take the time to immerse yourself in your own life and finding things you enjoy doing is another reason your personal time is so important.  

Self-Love

If you’re like most people, you care a great deal about your well-being. This doesn’t show, however, when you’re constantly working. Your time away from the funeral home is important because it helps you to develop a healthy level of selfishness. That time can be well spent learning and loving yourself.

Funeral directors take serving grieving families seriously, sometimes forgetting to enjoy leisure time away. This is a mistake because that free time is essential to maintaining work-life balance. If you don't prioritize your free time, consider how essential it is to your well-being.

3 Easy Ways Funeral Directors Can Take Time for Themselves

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For people that give, it can be hard to receive, even from yourself. If you’re like many funeral directors, serving families that have lost loved ones is a big responsibility to you and at times you go overboard and forget that you need to be taken care of as well. To keep a positive attitude, here are three easy ways you can take time for yourself.

Delegate Tasks

You are not an army of one sent to take on a family’s funeral arrangements on your own. The people you work with are capable of doing some of the tasks that don’t need your immediate attention. Having others give you a little help frees up your time so that you can care for yourself. There is no need for your to personally answer every call, complete all paperwork, or schedule meetings. All of these tasks can be completed by someone else, giving you a little free time throughout your day.

Unplug

People from all walks of life find it important to unplug every once in a while to recharge and get a break from their normal routines.

Many funeral directors are constantly connected to the funeral home, whether via phone, online or another outlet. By putting away the phone, closing down the computer and disconnecting from work, you can easily carve out some time to take care of yourself.

Exercise

This may seem like a far-fetched option, but exercising releases endorphins, which make you feel good. Taking a brisk walk at lunch, doing squats in your office or otherwise engaging in some physical activity is a great way to get some time to yourself, recharge your energy levels, and make you feel good.

You are doing something that is good for your physical health as well as emotional and mental.

Funeral directors for years have put the needs of others before their own. If you fall into this category, don’t let your needs get put on the back burner. By taking time for yourself, you can help others even better because you’ll be better able to cope mentally with whatever families may bring you. Getting time for yourself can be as easy as delegating tasks to others, unplugging from everything work related, and getting a little exercise. These are just three options of many for figuring out how to take time out to care for your own needs.

3 Ways Outdoor Activities Help Funeral Directors Embrace Life

People weren't intended to be sedentary. There's plenty of research on the effects of outdoor activities and health. People that spend more time indoors as opposed to those that engage in activities outside lead overall healthier and more productive lives. Outdoor activities can help funeral directors in many ways, including embracing life, and answering services for funeral directors help you disconnect for a time to get there.

You Will Feel Good

It’s hard to be outside and be unhappy. Being outdoors and seeing all that nature provides and all the life around you helps you embrace life. You could be hiking up a beautiful mountain with the sun shining on your face as it sets over the horizon. Moments like that are hard to forget and its equally hard not to enjoy life more knowing the beauty that resides outside of the walls of your funeral home.

The physical part of outdoor activities increases your life expectancy. How could you not embrace life, knowing you’re healthier and will likely even live longer? An easy way to get outdoors and not be tied to the funeral home constantly is to use the services of an answering service for funeral directors. You can unplug for a little while and really connect with nature.

You Will Think Better

When your mind is overloaded with work responsibilities, it’s hard to enjoy anything, especially when death is what's overtaking your thoughts. Outdoor activities increase brain function. Depression, stress and self-esteem issues can all be helped by participating in outdoor activities. These problems cause a negative outlook on life, but with outdoor recreation, you can alleviate them and instead embrace your life with joy. You will have a better chance of achieving life satisfaction.

You Will Connect Better

Engaging in outdoor activities with others can help you socially as well. Engaging in activities with a group will help you to bond and connect better with others. These relationships unite you with others and give you a sense of belonging and community that enhances your life in many ways. You will be a more positive person less likely to engage in negative behaviors.

Engaging in outdoor recreation provides positive changes in your life that promote happiness, clearer thoughts and social satisfaction. If you feel like you can’t get away to enjoy the outdoors,answering services for funeral directors make getting a little time outside easier.

How Technology Helps Funeral Directors Stay Connected While They're Away

Technology is always changing. It has found its way into most parts of life, from ultra-portable computers to apps that can do almost anything. You can connect with anybody anytime, from almost anywhere. This change has made a path like being a funeral director, which in the past kept you rooted to the funeral home, easier to manage without having to constantly physically avail yourself. Now you can connect with technology in different ways and take some time to get away without dealing with minor interruptions.

Getting a true break from the funeral home is something that has plagued funeral directors throughout history. You want to stay up to date on what's going on and be available when someone is in need, but you also need to take time for yourself and your own family. In times past, you’d be tied to a phone and probably wouldn’t consider taking a vacation.

Answering Service for Directors

Times have changed. With the influx of technology, you now have ways to streamline some of your processes and outsource tasks that kept you tied down. One of the advancements that allows you to stay connected while taking time away is using ananswering service for directors. These services are tailored to your funeral home and operated by trained professionals that can schedule your meetings, gather information, answer your families’ questions, and more. You no longer have to worry about missed calls or constantly be attached to your phone to take every call; they’ll do it for you with the same commitment to sympathy and professionalism you would deliver.

Online Presence

Most people know connecting to others is easiest through the web. This technology that has been around for many years is how most people find information and research a business before they decide to use it. This is no different for a funeral home. Maintaining an online presence can help you stay connected with the families you serve as well as the individuals you work with without having to see or speak to them. You can be anywhere and still link to others online. A few outlets you have to connect include:

  • Website

  • Social Media

  • Blogs

  • Forums

  • Directories

An answering service for directors and maintaining an online presence are a couple of the advancements in technology that make it easier to stay connected even when you’re taking time away.

4 Things Families Never Want to Experience When Calling a Funeral Home

Calling a funeral home to make arrangements after a loved one passes is hard for families to do.When the call is made to your funeral home, these families have high expectations for the service they receive. Here are four things families never want to experience when they call your funeral home.

Distracted/Unhelpful People on the Other Line

Gathering information is a crucial part of what you do. A family is likely to get annoyed if they feel the person handling their call isn’t paying attention. To them, the death of their loved one is the most important thing in the world at that time, and they expect the person helping them to feel the same way or at least convey that it is.

Those calling your funeral home are seeking help. So if the person on the other line is unhelpful, it leads to a counterproductive situation. Assistance is expected, and the person answering calls should be knowledgeable and able to relay information as necessary.

Transfers and Repeating the Same Information Over and Over

Another very frustrating experience for your callers is being transferred and having the same information repeated or having to repeat the same information. A streamlined process is expected, and families need structure and organization during their time of grief to reduce stress.

Going to Voicemail During Regular Hours

Being directed to voicemail after hours might be expected or tolerated, but when your funeral home is open, families are expecting someone to answer the phone. Whether they’re reporting a death or want to make arrangements, time is critical and being sent to voicemail makes them feel unimportant.

A funeral home is expected to be sympathetic and professional during the worst times for a family. You don’t want to provide a bad experience for the people you serve. It will tarnish your reputation. By taking heed of things families don’t want to experience when calling your funeral home, you can ensure their experience is a positive one. 

Director On Call at 2016 FSAC Convention!

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Linda Murphy-Kreimes,Sales Manager at Director On Call has been enjoying the FSAC Convention is Montreal this week. She met up with long time client Ernie Morgan of Morse and Son Funeral Home. It's always good to catch up with our clients.

3 Ways a Funeral Home Answering Service Can Boost Your Reputation

A funeral home answering service provides many benefits for funeral directors; from free time to call assurance. One of the biggest benefits to your funeral home is an increase in your reputation. Building a good reputation in your community is important to your bottom line. Below are three ways your funeral home can get a boost in reputation by utilizing a funeral home answering service.

A Place Families Count On

When death occurs, it may not happen during normal business hours. A funeral home answering service is there to answer your calls 24/7. Without an answering service you might miss calls, but with the answering service, every call is answered. Those that had charge of an individual that passed can trust that whenever they need your services, somebody is available to assist them. When given a choice, people will go with the service they know is readily available.

When families can count on your funeral home to always be there, they’ll spread the news and speak favorably about you.

Customer Service with Care

Dealing with grieving families is a delicate matter and people expect sympathy from funeral directors. An answering service for funeral homes provides a kind and compassionate experience for callers they likely won’t forget.

The service and care your families receive can make or break you. The person that answers your phone is your first line of contact with families and others. It’s not only important that calls are answered, but that they’re answered professionally and respectfully, always recognizing the nature of the calls. A funeral home answering service provides trained call specialists that understand this. Leaving families feeling respected and cared for helps your standing in the community.

Knowledge and Experience

Having the phone answered by someone that is knowledgeable and able to answer your families’ questions is just as important to the reputation of your funeral home. An answering service specifically for funeral homes provides call specialists that are experienced in handling funeral home calls as well as having knowledge of what funeral directors do and the services provided. With training on your funeral home, they provide callers with the information they need.

The reputation of your funeral home gets a boost when families know they’ll get correct information from a knowledgeable and experienced source.

Give your reputation a lift with a funeral home answering service. The knowledge, care and availability provided helps families have confidence in you.

Director On Call Will Be Attending the FSAC Convention

The FSAC Convention and Trade Show will be held from May 30 - June 2, 2016 at the Hotel Bonaventure and Place Bonaventure Convention Centre in Montreal, Quebec! Director On Call's Sales Manager Linda Murphy-Kreimes will be at Booth #400! Come by for a visit and learn about all the ways in which our Funeral Home Answering Service can help your Funeral Home.

How to Make the Most of Your Funeral Home Live Answering Service

5 Services to Take Advantage of from your Funeral Home Answering Service

A funeral home live answering service could be just what you need to get things on track for your funeral home. 4-myths-about-funeral-home-answering-services-director-on-callYou're provided with different options, technology and services that are beneficial to you. Learn how to take advantage of the services they provide and make the most out of what they can do for you.

Take Advantage of Their Transparency

Many answering services claim transparency in their work. Calls are generally recorded. To keep abreast of how calls are answered and what your families are experiencing, access these recordings. You can always make suggestions or tweak things to fit what you want.

Provide as Much Information for Training as Possible

Your funeral home answering service is typically the first contact that people will have with you, so you want the live call agents to be informed and able to convey that information easily. Providing everything necessary to fully assist your callers will keep them from needing to constantly contact or forward calls to you that could be handled by them. With training, your funeral home live answering service can provide confident and knowledgeable information to your families.

Keep the Answering Service Updated

If and when things change, such as business hours, services, prices, on-call hours, etc. change, make sure your funeral home live answering service is informed. This eliminates callers receiving incorrect information about your funeral home and becoming frustrated.

Use the Technology They Make Available

From call forwarding to web chat, funeral home live answering services provide several advanced technology options that can help you stay on top of their work and serve your families better. Though most people, especially in the situation of death want to speak with a real person, there are those that prefer other options. If your answering service provides web chat or other ways for people to contact you, take advantage of it.

Give Them the Duties That Don’t Require Your Expertise

You don’t have to do everything and funeral home live answering services can do more than answer calls. They can also schedule appointments, facilitate paperwork such as death certificate requests, give information about other resources, make calls on your behalf and more.

A funeral home live answering service can really help your funeral home get ahead, further your reputation, and take some the slack off your hands. Take advantage of all they provide, making the most of their services.

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Funeral Directors: Understanding Compassion Fatigue

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Death causes a tremendous amount of grief. Funeral directors are exposed to this on a regular basis and it’s not uncommon for the feelings of anguish from the families of the deceased to cause a direct effect and lead to compassion fatigue. As a funeral director, you are among those that are highly susceptible to experiencing compassion fatigue because of the nature of the work that funeral homes handle. The best way to cope with or avoid entering this state of being is to understand it.

What is Compassion Fatigue?

Compassion fatigue is defined as a state of apathy, fatigue or emotional distress that results from the demands of caring for others; an indifference to the suffering of others as a result of the overwhelming needs of individuals. It is labeled as a secondary traumatic stress disorder and can happen over time because of the constant exposure to death and the circumstances of death or it can occur from one situation that completely overwhelms you.

A few of the symptoms you should look for are:

  • Mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion/impairment

  • Isolation

  • Depersonalization

  • Lost sense of accomplishment/meaning

There are also other signs, including anger towards those that cause you to feel this way, loss of hope and self-worth, and inability to sleep. Your views on everything from the world to spirituality can be impacted. Over time, you feel less and less sympathetic to the pain of others, especially those that are not on the same magnitude as death.

How Can It Be Combated/Avoided?

There are a few ways you can avoid or combat compassion fatigue.

  • Awareness – find out what triggers stress and be conscious of the symptoms.

  • Balance – you should have work-life balance and take time to enjoy things outside of the funeral home.

  • Support – whether you talk with family, a friend or a professional, you need an outlet for your emotions and feelings of stress.

Compassion fatigue is a real disorder that you need to pay attention to because it affects many areas of your well-being. Working in funeral homes, you have a very high chance of suffering from this disorder. You deal with death on a daily basis and are expected to handle the grief and stress of others with unwavering sympathy. Now that you understand compassion fatigue, you can work to avoid it or get the help you need if you are suffering.

How Moving Away from 24/7 Availability Helps Funeral Directors Cope

How often does your phone ring after funeral home hours? Constant exposure to death and not being able to get away from it every once in a while can leave you stressed. Being available 24/7 has been the way funeral directors live for many years, but you can move away from that and regain more of your life back. A funeral home answering service can man the phones and free up your time.

Always on Call

It’s hard to enjoy yourself when you know at any second your phone can ring, taking you away from your life and pulling you back into the funeral home. Your work-life balance is easily thrown off with 24/7 availability. Whether in the funeral home or away, your phone is constantly with you so that you can take every call.

You are not the only person affected by your constant availability. Your family and friends are distanced because you are constantly engaged with the funeral home. Burnout and compassion fatigue can happen easily because of the nature of what you do and can cause irreparable damage to your life. Constant availability only serves to feed into these problems.

Breaking the 24/7 Relationship

You don’t have to be a slave to your phone and can end the days of 24/7 availability. A funeral home answering service is the perfect tool to help you cope with the stress that can occur from constant exposure to grieving families. Burnout and compassion fatigue are serious and anything that can help you avoid becoming too stressed from work, is a benefit to you.

Every once in a while you need to be able to disconnect and a funeral home answering service can help. Instead of taking every call that comes in, the live call specialists can do a number of things including:

  • Take calls

  • Answer questions

  • Set appointments

  • Direct callers to helpful resources

  • Take messages

They can even set up First Calls. This means you only get notified when you want and for emergency situations that need your immediate attention.

You can also keep tabs on how calls are handled, so you're not also worried about how families are being assisted from call specialists. They undergo training to understand just how to help your families.

Don’t allow the stress of handling the grief of others 24/7 weigh you down. A funeral home answering service can help lighten the load.

3 Ways Director On Call Practices for Speaking to Upset People on the Phone

At one time or another (if your job involves serving people), you have come across angry people, especially when talking with them over the phone. This can be a damaging scenario for anyone’s reputation, but even more so for a funeral home, where you are expected to display compassion for another’s misfortune. It’s also easy for a caller to become upset because their emotions are heightened due to the loss of a loved one. Here are three tips for answering funeral home calls when the person is upset.

Personalize the Call

When you are speaking on the phone with a family, you should always personalize the call. Use the person’s name when possible, so you can forge a connection. This can go a long way with someone that is upset and it will help you think of them as a real person with real reasons for being upset rather than an irate, nameless caller. It also produces a more sincere interaction and helps put a person at ease. More than that, the fact that you remembered the person’s name will show that you are listening to them.

Just Listen

Sometimes people just need to vent. When answering funeral home calls, this is even truer because the person that has lost a loved one is going through a tough time emotionally. If a person is on a tirade, don’t interrupt them and don’t take it personally. They aren’t upset with you, just a situation that has caused them to become angry. Typically the more they speak, the more time they’ll have to calm down as they get all of their grievances out. You should be actively listening to catch any key comments they make that can help you calm them down and present them with a solution. You can chime in with little comments so they feel like they are being heard.

Be Kind

Answering funeral home calls, you come across people grieving and stressed. Sympathy should be a given, but showing someone kindness when they’re upset and giving you a verbal thrashing will make them consider their actions. Smiling when you talk is a good way to keep a positive attitude when dealing with an upset person.

Although it may be impossible to avoid ever having a person upset when answering funeral home calls, using these tips can help diffuse a tense situation and you can ease the caller’s anger.

Establishing Boundaries Helps Funeral Directors Serve Better

You set boundaries in many areas of your life, but when it comes to your funeral home, you are open. You probably think being available 24/7 helps your funeral home, but setting boundaries can actually help funeral directors serve better. Establishing boundaries and having the opportunity to disengage from your duties will help you maintain a positive attitude towards your work.

Constant Availability Leads to Stress

Without boundaries, you're completely open. For years, funeral directors haven’t set boundaries and basically maintained an open door policy. Without boundaries at the funeral home, you run the risk of developing high amounts of stress which can lead to problems such as burnout, compassion fatigue, physical problems or even wanting to quit serving others.

Boundaries Make Serving Easier

Establishing boundaries in your funeral home allows you to disconnect every once in a while or on a regular basis. You are able to recharge your mind and body as well as gather strength from being with the people you love uninterrupted. Instead of taking every 3AM phone call, personally handling every First Call or heading up to the funeral home and having to break away from your personal time, you can create some boundaries or rules to help you cope with the stress of helping grieving families.

A few tips for creating boundaries include:

  • Employ a live answering service

  • Carve out time where you don’t deal with funeral-related work

  • Take time to clear your mind from daily work stress

  • Take breaks regularly

  • Fully engage in time with family and friends

  • Let someone handle duties when you're away

Setting boundaries ultimately helps funeral directors. Where burnout and compassion fatigue could easily occur, striking a balance and setting boundaries helps you to continue to enjoy serving others in their time of need. You should even set mental boundaries on how involved you become with the families you serve. Although this may seem difficult because you are flooded with their emotions, keeping a positive attitude and leaving their pain at the funeral home instead of dragging it around in your mind does a lot to keep your spirits up.

Establishing boundaries may seem impossible because as funeral directors, you are expected to be sympathetic which makes it easier for you to take on others' stress and not want to disconnect. If you set the boundaries, you’ll see that you are better at helping others and maintaining balance.