Funeral Directors: Top 3 Signs You're Getting Burned Out

Burnout is a serious condition that affects many people, especially funeral directors. You have a high-stress position that requires a substantial amount of time, dedication and emotional maintenance, where you spend your time focusing on caring for others. As much as you love serving others, being a funeral director can be draining and lead to burnout. It’s important to know the signs so you can get support when you need it. Below you will find the top symptoms that mean you're heading for burnout.

What Is Burnout?

Burnout is a state of exhaustion — physical, mental and emotional — caused by overwork or prolonged stress. Being overwhelmed, drained, or unable to meet the demands of your work can lead to this state.

Exhaustion

Exhaustion can be physical or emotional and is one of the telltale signs. Some signs that you are exhausted include chronic fatigue and insomnia. Cognitive problems such as forgetfulness and impaired concentration are common as well as some physical symptoms such as chest pain, dizziness, fainting, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, fainting, increased illness, depression, anxiety, loss of appetite, anger or headaches. These symptoms happen at different stages of burnout.

Detachment & Cynicism

You may feel a general load of negative feelings that your work doesn't matter, or that nothing in life does. You can feel detached from the pain of death or feel as if things less than death no longer matter. Other signs include isolation, pessimism, and loss of enjoyment. Interpersonal problems at work and home usually occur. Pulling away from family, friends and coworkers are typical actions.

Lack of Accomplishment and Being Ineffective

Slipping job performance that happens over time and can’t be attributed to an explainable change is a sign of burnout. You might feel there is no point in your work or life (as in detachment and cynicism), leading to a lack of motivation, and you may experience increased irritability. Your mind will be preoccupied with work even when you're away, and yet have a lack of productivity and poor performance because the chronic stress consumes your time.

You may also engage in risky behaviors such as drugs or drinking, and forgo taking care of yourself.

If any of these signs describe you, you could be experiencing burnout or on your way to it. Seeking help and support will help you get through it and return to your life.

3 Tips for Choosing Your Next Funeral Home Live Answering Service

A funeral home live answering service provides several benefits, but funeral homes have a reputation to uphold and it can be daunting to think of relinquishing your duties and allowing someone else to handle your phone lines. When you're looking for a funeral home answering service, here are a few tips to help you choose the best service for you.

Find Out Training Practices

It's important to know training practices. As a funeral director, you know it takes a person who's sympathetic, caring, professional and detailed to provide services to those that have lost loved ones. The live answering service you look for should also know this and train accordingly. Training should also include more technical aspects such as preparing for first calls, forwarding calls, and accuracy.

Look for Experience and Understanding of Funeral Home Practices

Families require the utmost respect in addition to empathy and compassion. An experienced answering service with years of handling live calls knows the typical calls that come in and how to answer them. They understand the delicate nature of speaking with grieving families and the sensitive information discussed. They also know the importance of correctness and professionalism, not allowing their feelings to get in the way of providing excellent service.

Of equal importance is understanding what funeral homes do. Knowing how to direct calls and answer caller questions is a necessity. The live call answering service you select should have a knowledge of common practices and an overall understanding of processes, attitudes and history.

Customizable Options Available

Another helpful tip is to look for an answering service with customizable options. Generic services are not ideal. You may need different options and want to have everything operating exactly as you want. Cookie cutter call handling will likely leave your families unhappy. With options tailored to the needs of your funeral home, you can rest assured that calls are handled the way you would handle them yourself, with little room for error on the part of the live call answering service.

Not all live call answering services are created equal. You want a service that is unnoticeable to your callers. It should seem as if someone at the funeral home is answering calls and providing information. Knowing their training practices with experience and understanding of funeral practices along with a custom service plan give you confidence that you are using the right answering service.

Familiar Faces at NFDA 2016

We are having so much fun at Booth 2555 at NFDA 2016! Douglas Wagemann of Cochrane and Wagemann Funeral Home in Roseville, CA stopped by the Director On Call booth to say hello. He wanted to let us know what a wonderful job our call specialists are doing and to say thank you. It's always great to see new and familiar faces. Don't forget to stop by Booth 2555 for your complimentary headshot provided by our professional photographer! Pictured is Douglas Wagemann and Director On Call Sales Manager Linda Murphy-Kreimes.

Professional Headshots Available to Funeral Homes at NFDA 2016!

Linda Murphy-Kreimes at NFDA 2016.

The 2016 NFDA Convention & Expo is underway in Philadelphia, PA and Booth 2555 is the place to be! Director On Call is providing complimentary professional headshots to current and future clients! Come over to Booth 2555 and check us out! Pictured is Sales Manager, Linda Murphy-Kreimes.

4 Ways Call Recording Will Benefit Your Funeral Home

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Can recording calls really help with quality assurance? You might have this feature available for your calls, and it can do more for you than you think. Here are a few benefits of call recording.

Caller Satisfaction

Knowing how the interactions between callers and call handlers proceed is one of the best benefits of call recording. No matter who answers the call, being able to go back can ensure that families are being treated the way you want. If there is a complaint, you can listen to the call(s) associated with it to find out where the problem lies.

Training and Improvement

Another benefit of call recording is you can figure out common issues for callers and fix them. If the information that callers need isn’t readily available, the callers are in turn given the runaround. Listening to call recordings can give you insight on where you can make changes to training and what needs to be improved. You are also able to ensure that you are in compliance with any regulations as well.

Readily Available Information

You might notice when listening to calls, that there are some questions many callers tend to have or some vital information that continues to come up in calls. This allows you to understand what your answering service or other call handlers need to answer calls effectively. You could make more information available on your website that people constantly need. This benefits your reputation because you are anticipating your families’ needs.

Knowing Why Families Call

Of course, families are calling because they need information or want to set up services for their deceased loved ones. With properly used call recording, however, you can get specific details as to the frequency of certain types of calls, why most callers call, and more. If callers call to find out hours or location information, you could have an automatic recording that presents this information while they wait.

Obtain Missed/Forgotten Information

It's human to forget things or get things wrong sometimes. Recording all phone interactions can help you find information that you might have missed or forgotten.

Call recording is a handy tool that can benefit your funeral home by making sure everyone is accountable for their calls and that your callers are getting everything they need.

Top 3 Things Funeral Home Callers Need to Hear

How to Handle Funeral Home Calls

Losing a loved one is hard. It takes a toll, especially emotionally. Along with the passing, there comes the responsibility of arranging for burial. When calling your funeral home amidst these emotions, handling these calls with care is essential.

Below are the top three things callers need to hear from your funeral home.

Greeting

The first thing your callers expect to hear is a greeting. They want a greeting from a compassionate and professional voice — a real person that can empathize or sympathize with their situation. Working in a funeral home is unlike most other positions because the utmost standard is required at all times by the families of the deceased. There is an expectation to be compassionate and caring towards them. When calling your funeral home, the greeting sets the tone for how the rest of the call and any other interactions will proceed.

Answers and Solutions

The people that call are in need of some type of assistance. It could be as simple as scheduling an appointment, or they could need in-depth information on prices and services. Whatever the reason is for the call, they want to get solutions to their problems and answers to their questions. Confidence and accuracy are essential when providing information to callers. You want to be prepared to answer any question or direct them to someone that can help them. The person taking the calls should not be fumbling around or confuse the caller with bad information.

Active Listening

With emotions running high and families grieving, sometimes callers just need a good listener. Many times, they will go into stories or take some time to get to the reason they called. In effect, they want to hear that you are listening to the things they say. You listening to them is helpful. It helps them to release some of the stress they're going through and work to move on.

You should also be listening to find out any information they aren't directly telling you while talking. They could be sharing valuable information about the deceased that would be helpful in providing services to them.

When calling your funeral home, people are dealing with many emotions. They want to hear certain things that give them confidence in your abilities and helps them deal with their feelings including the greeting, information relayed, and listening to them.

The Best Ways Funeral Directors Can Combat Burnout

Ways to Combat Burnout So You Can Feel Like Yourself Again 

As passionate as you are about serving others and helping people through some of their toughest times, there comes a point when you feel like you have hit a wall and you're at the end of what you can take. Burnout is a common feeling for anyone working tirelessly, but especially for funeral directors. There are ways to combat burnout so you can feel like yourself again.

Take Care of Yourself

Being a funeral director, you aim to make sure that others are attended to; that the wishes of the deceased and their families are carried out. Putting others first is a sacrifice, but at some point, you have to remember to take some time for you. This can entail a few things, from physical to mental to emotional. A few ways you can make sure you are giving yourself what you need include:

  • Taking up a hobby you enjoy like reading, fishing, bird-watching. Having moments where you get to do something just for you will increase your happiness.

  • Improve your health by exercising, eating better, meditating, and getting more sleep. Bettering your health is a great way to reduce stress.

Get a Little Support

Trying to handle everything on your plate alone can get stressful and lead to inefficiency as you become overwhelmed. There’s nothing wrong with asking for assistance when you need it. At the point of burnout, the right support can help you get back on track.

Support can come in many forms. You can lean on your friends and family for a shoulder or a listening ear, and more importantly love. You can seek a professional, a therapist or psychologist that can help you overcome the stress in your life. You can also get assistance from coworkers, adjusting your schedule and workload to take some of the pressure off.

Support from technology can also help you. With technology, you can make better use of time and streamline processes. Live call answering services make sure all calls get answered and you only take those that are necessary.

When it comes to burnout, you can fight it by remembering your needs and getting a little help. Instead of allowing your stressors to take control, review and make use of the best ways to combat burnout.

Quality Assurance: What to Expect from a Funeral Home Answering Service

Quality assurance is an important aspect of providing goods or services. It is the maintenance/activities in a quality system that ensure the fulfillment of quality requirements and in the prevention of mistakes and problems in a product or service. When using a funeral home answering service, quality assurance is essential to ensuring that your families are receiving the care and service they, as well as you, expect.

Here is what you should expect from a funeral home answering service with respect to quality assurance.

Call Recording and Reviewing

Recording calls is essential to quality assurance. This gives you or supervisors of the answering service the ability to go back and review calls on a regular basis to ensure they are maintaining standards.

Extensive Training

In order to make sure that call agents have the information they need about your funeral home, the answering service should find out from you everything they need and train call specialists so that they are as informed as anyone working at the funeral home. All call specialists go through extensive training that evaluates their abilities in the areas necessary to function for a funeral home. This includes typing, comprehension, grammar and more.

Close Supervision

With close supervision, calls are reviewed on a regular basis. Call specialists receive close supervision as they start out to ensure that they understand and can implement what they learned during training.

Regular Testing and Evaluation

A funeral home answering service that stands behind what they do conducts regular testing and evaluations of their system and call specialists. This ensures that call specialists constantly maintain high levels of service at all times.

You should also be able to give your input on how they render services to your families and make changes or suggestions as necessary.

Transparency is also essential. You have direct access to the call recordings, the ability to make changes and suggestions and to receive any support you need to ensure that they uphold the quality assurance measures. Live answering services receive awards for their high standard of quality service. Measurable features are typically the basis for these awards, including accuracy, professionalism, and overall knowledge of the funeral home.

Quality assurance is necessary to keep standards met and if there is a faulty area, the problem is quickly eradicated. With a live answering service, you get quality assurance measures that ensure families receive quality care when calling your funeral home.

3 Advantages to Having a Specialized Answering Service

Some Funeral Homes need Receptionists to answer the door, greet families, etc. A funeral home answering service can do this or by employing them 24/7, can also be used as a Back up during normal operating hours.

Savings

One very good reason to choose a live answering service vs. a receptionist is the cost. It costs significantly less money to employ an answering service than a receptionist. Not only do you have to pay hourly wages or a salary, but you also have the added costs of benefits packages. There is also holiday and overtime pay you have to consider as well.

If you intend to have around-the-clock reception duties, you will probably have to hire more than one person to make sure the funeral home is covered. This brings in the added cost of having the funeral home always open. If you don’t have around-the-clock call answering, you miss out on money you could have made when calls and opportunities to help families are missed.

Availability

A real person at your funeral home is going to need time away for various reasons, while a live answering service uses a number of trained individuals so that there is always someone available to take calls. People need lunch breaks as well as days off for sickness and rest.

In many cases, having a 24-hour receptionist is not realistic or ideal. With a live answering service, you get that added 24-hour support you need. You don’t have to account for holidays, overtime, breaks, or sick days.

Transparency

Live answering services that specialize in funeral homes provide transparent service. You get access to recorded calls to assure and maintain quality, care and professionalism. There are also no missed messages to account for. The answering service will have its own measures for quality in addition to maintaining your needs. You’ll also get support for your services from the answering service. You may have a harder time tracking what an actual person does unless you are watching them constantly, which defeats the purpose of having them.

A receptionist can be really helpful, but a live call answering service goes above and beyond by providing you with money savings, 24/7 availability, and transparent support for your funeral home.

Funeral Home Answering Service Has Received Our 17th Award for Excellence!

Director On Call was presented with the exclusive 2016 CAM-X Award of Excellence for the 17th year at CAM-X Convention and Trade Show held September 20th-23rd 2016 in Quebec City, Quebec at the Chateau Laurier. 

It was a special event because our President Brad French also received the Tom Ryan Award for Ethics, Integrity and Quality.

The Award of Excellence is presented annually by the Canadian Call Management Association (CAM-X), the industry's Trade Association for providers of call centre services including telephone answering and message delivery.

Independent judges are contracted by CAM-X to evaluate message services over a six month period. The scoring criteria includes:

  • Response Time

  • Courteousness of Rep

  • Accuracy of Call

  • Knowledge of Account

  • Overall Impression of Call

"27 years ago, CAM-X introduced the Award of Excellence to the Call Center industry as a tool for independent assessment of the quality of service delivery. We are so pleased that Director On Call has proven its commitment to excellence by its participation in this program, and are delighted that they have earned this prestigious award." says CAM-X President Michael Leibowitz.

Now a seventeen-time winner Director On Call earned the Platinum Plus Award!

"I would like to congratulate our Team for winning this award yet again. The desire to give superior service to all of our callers is demonstrated time and again." says Brad French. 

Beyond Price: How Live Funeral Home Answering Affects Your Bottom Line

The Value an Answering Service Can Bring to Your Funeral Home

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When using a live answering service for your funeral home, cost is important, but it shouldn’t be the only measurement you use. There are many answering services available, some good and others not. You have to consider the price versus the value of services received, as well as the level of service rendered to your families.

The True Cost

You find out the price you pay for an answering service up front — the price per call and any other services included. However, the true cost is in the value provided by the live answering service. You can’t really quantify what an experienced answering service that specializes in serving funeral homes gives you; the peace of mind knowing that every call is answered with the sympathy, professionalism, understanding and courteousness that your families expect.

People prefer experience and great service from any business, but it's especially important with funeral homes because of the nature of the calls and needs of the families. If you asked, you would find that most people would pay more for service they deemed valuable. This doesn’t just mean being nice; it also means being able to correctly answer people’s questions, not having to transfer calls to get answers, not placing callers on long holds, and being knowledgeable. All of these components should be considered when counting the true cost of an answering service and what value it can truly bring to your funeral home.

Families Recognize Value — and Share

For your funeral home, bad service received by your families leads to loss in business and negatively impacts your reputation. People usually share their experiences with others, whether their service was good or bad. Recommendations from family and friends go a long way because people are more likely to try something suggested by others they trust. In this digital age, info spreads instantly, and people are more likely to share their experiences. When families receive great service from you, they tell others. Great service stands alone, but word of mouth boosts it.

The price of the live answering service is important to your budget, but the quality of the service you receive affects so much more — your bottom line. The cost and value of an answering service is more than your price per call; it's in every service rendered and the perception of the services received by families.

Director On Call President Brad French Receives Prestigious Tom Ryan Award

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Our President Brad French was awarded the Tom Ryan award at the CAM-X Annual Convention and Trade Show in Quebec City. 

The Tom Ryan Award for Ethics, Integrity and Quality Above All was created by the Ryan family in 2001 in memory of Tom Ryan. Its purpose is to recognize industry leaders in the answering service and contact management industry whose companies are founded on principles of quality service delivery, ethical business practices, commitment to a progressive working environment, and on contribution to the business and industry communities.

This award is judged by a panel of business and community leaders who were personal friends and associates of Tom's and who understood the values and principles on which Tom conducted his business affairs. Each application is scored independently via a weighted scoring process, with the award being presented only when all criteria are met.

CAM-X is an industry trade Association representing Call Centres and Telephone Answering Service companies from coast to coast across North America.

Congratulations Brad! 

Director On Call at the Ontario Funeral Service Association Convention & AGM

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The OFSA Convention is on this week in Alliston, Ontario at the Nottawasaga Inn Resort. Director On Call client Todd Barclay of Barclay Funeral Home stopped by to say hello to our Sales Manager Linda-Murphy Kreimes. It's always a pleasure to visit with our clients and see familiar faces.

Make sure to stop by Director On Call's booth and say hello to Linda!

3 Secrets for Making Every Caller Feel Valued at Your Funeral Home

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People have choices. They can eat at any restaurant, shop at any store and pick their own funeral home. To keep your reputation up and continue to build, you have to make sure that the families you serve feel valued. While you don’t have to literally bend over backward to show families they're integral to what you do, here are a few secrets you should know to keep your funeral home in good graces with families.

Listen, Listen, Listen!

One of the best things you can do to show your callers they're valued is listen. It may seem like a small thing, but there are times when a person will just give you the facts you need then move on, while in other situations you may receive a call that goes on and on as the family tells you everything about the loved one they've lost. In times like that, they might just need to vent — but you should still be attentive.

Throughout everything said — even a story — you can find helpful information you need, whether it’s the deceased’s favorite color or life motto. You don’t want families having to repeat information, which can make them feel unimportant and as if you’re too busy to assist them.

Understanding Every Family Is Unique

While death happens to everyone, the circumstances surrounding each one are different, just as people themselves are. There are some basic principles you can apply to multiple calls, but you still need to understand that the family you're speaking with is not the same as another, and they want something that fits the unique personality of their loved one.

Be Patient

Remember to be patient when you're listening to everything these callers tell you. They might run on with their thoughts, but you don’t want to rush or alienate a grieving caller. Allow them to vent and when you get the chance to speak, ask for any additional information you may need that wasn’t told to you. The conversation might just help them move on, and they’ll get the feeling that you care.

If you remember these secrets when families call, they will feel valued. Just remember that they are looking for assistance and going through a stressful time in their life. Listen to their needs and assess their specific situation to come up with a plan to help them.

Boosting Your Reputation with a Funeral Home Answering Service

3 Ways a Funeral Home Answering Service Can Help Boost Your Reputation

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There are different ways you can go about trying to boost your reputation, but one of the best ways is with a funeral home answering service. When your focus is serving others, you have to cater to the needs of the people that trust you with the final farewell of their loved ones. Below are a few ways that a funeral home answering service can help boost your reputation.

Availability

You can’t be available all the time, but death is untimely. You can get a first call at any hour, whether you're at the funeral home or elsewhere. An answering service for funeral directors is a handy tool to make sure that every call is answered. You have to think; would you rather have a reputation for always answering your phone or people not being able to reach you and leaving messages, waiting to be called back?

Answering services have availability whenever you need them and can man your phone lines around the clock.

Understanding

The very nature of what you do is providing support for people during their time of grief. Sympathy and kindness to your families are essential to your funeral home. Answering services that cater to funeral directors understand what your families need, what they expect, and how to deal with them on a level that makes them feel comfortable and takes into account their state of mind.

A funeral home answering service boosts your reputation with call specialists that fully understand the needs of your funeral home and your families.

Informative

Valid and timely information is also essential to the families that call on your services--both the information you give them as well as the information they give you. An answering service can ensure that your families know everything they need, from payment to hours and location, and that you'll have what you need to oversee their funeral arrangements.

Your reputation is riding on the funeral service going smoothly.

In this age where information and communication are instant and people share everything from what they ate to who mowed their lawns, your reputation among your community and those that would use your funeral home is more important than ever. With a funeral home answering service, you can provide your families with an experience that they (and you) would be happy to share.

3 Must-Read Books for Funeral Directors

A good book at the end of a long day can help you unwind and provide relevant information you can use on a regular basis. Whether you just need a mental escape or want some continuing educational content, below are a few must-read books from a memoir to a guide for funeral directors and professionals.

“Pardon My Hearse”                 

This memoir by Allan Abbott, proclaimed as the “funeral director to the stars,” shares the different celebrities — both living and dead — that he met during his life. When you want to escape, this is the book for you. You’ll read juicy gossip and many stories about those celebrities he encountered including Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Robert Redford, and Frank Sinatra. 

Not only will you get a glimpse of the secrets of Hollywood celebrities that are now gone in “Pardon My Hearse,” but Abbott also rented his fleet of limos and props for different productions. You may never get the chance to bury a celebrity, but at least you can imagine through the words of his book what it was like to do so.

“The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers”

This New York Times bestseller is a good read, providing both humor and information. The book explores the history of death as well as the living, from medical experiments to seminars and researchers using human cadavers for instruction and more. Written by Mary Roach, this book provides a history of how cadavers have been used spanning 2,000 years.

“The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers" provides a fascinating and educational look into the postmortem use of human bodies.

“Traversing the Minefield Best Practices: Reducing Risk in Funeral-Cremation Service”              

Written by Michael Kubasak, also the author of the best-selling “Cremation and the Funeral Director,” this book provides handy tips for funeral directors that provide cremations or are looking to start. His book is set to help you avoid lawsuits, reduce the risk for burials and cremations, and improve service to your families.

Litigation against funeral professionals is a touchy subject, but it happens. This helpful guide provides timely information on how to care for families and provide properly directed cremation services while protecting yourself and your funeral home.

These must-read books will let your mind wander, then bring you back with information and history relevant to the work you do every day.

Funeral Directors: Let Technology Help You Serve Your Families Better

From cell phones to social media, things have come a long way in terms of the way people communicate and interact. It makes connecting with others — whether for business or pleasure — a simpler task. It can help you better service the families that look to you when their loved ones have passed.

Technological advancements are changing the way funeral homes operate. For years, funeral directors were very heavily relied upon for a family’s needs. Family members that lived far off only had the choice to make the trip for the funeral service or miss them altogether. These days, various services such as live call answering, funeral webcasting, and helpful apps are assisting funeral directors with serving families more effectively and efficiently.

Technology You Can Use

Live call answering ensures that every call is answered and every family is assisted by an actual person, whether you're available or not. Going digital will help you keep up with files and fill out paperwork without outdated typewriters or handwritten forms. Storage is easier as well, with software that can make finding a family’s information as simple as clicking a few keys on the computer; and it’s also safe from being lost or destroyed when stored via cloud storage.

There’s an app for almost anything you need, including funerals. You can find apps for funeral planning, scheduling, note taking, faxing documents, task sharing with others working in your funeral home, and more. Technology makes accepting payments easier as well, with options such as online payment and check guarantees. Keeping your website up-to-date also ensures your families always have the right information available to them.

Technology Your Families Can Use

This is a very wired world and with webcasting, families that can’t make the trip for the burial service can watch it live. You can help families create digital keepsakes and memorials of their deceased that are accessible from the internet and can include the obituary, photos, videos and information about the family. Even headstones can a get technically induced makeover, with solutions that make it easy to design them with more detail, allowing families to create something that really honors the passing of loved ones.

Using technology, you can provide families with personalized and simple solutions to bury and honor the lives of their loved ones the way they want.

Funeral Directors: The Value of a Telephone Call in Today's World

Technology has helped this ever-changing and growing world in many ways by making communicating with people around the globe quick and easy. With that, people also tend to forego actually speaking with others in favor of texting, social media, email and automated service lines. In this world consumed by the social communication technology available, the value of a telephone call is second only to face to face contact.

Technology Isn’t the End of Verbal Communication

While many that provide services to individuals — from funeral directors to mechanics — are increasingly developing streamlined automated systems to keep up with growth and changes, it’s very important to keep that personal touch, especially for funeral homes.

Although handling communication through messaging or automated services can be helpful, people would often rather be able to call and receive calls as opposed to other forms of communication, especially when it's a grieving family. That one phone call shows these families that someone is there genuinely trying to help them rather than some faceless, robotic business just looking to make money.

Phone calls are becoming rarer as more people move toward other options for communication, such as texting and email. Many people would agree that being able to speak to a real person when looking for assistance is ideal.

The Personal Touch Can’t Be Replaced

Even with all of the things that can be done to help people without speaking on the phone, nothing can replace that personal touch families receive when engaged in actual conversation. Though there are many things in place that try to convey emotion, they can still be easily misconstrued. The compassion that families want from you can be easier felt from a phone call than other forms of communication because you can show sincerity and sympathy for their situation.

Showing you care goes a long way, but treating people like a number in a line is a sure way to drive them away.

Technology helps you move forward and keep up with the times with solutions to automate and streamline some of your processes. However, it’s equally important — if not more so — to remember how valuable it is to your families that they're able to pick up the phone and speak with someone when they are in need.

Funeral Directors: Coping with Too Much to Do

Funeral directors can feel a little overwhelmed at times when you feel as if you have too much to do. When the stress of your daily tasks start weighing on you, a few tips can help you cope with your bursting schedule.

Organize Your Agenda

Some of your tasks are completed daily and others on some other time scale. Before you start combating tasks, organize and record the things you need to get done. It can be hard to remember several tasks, or even one at times. You shouldn’t try to keep everything in your head. Even in grade school, you learn that taking notes and writing things down will help you learn and retain information.

Instead of trying to remember your to-do list, write out an actual list. You’ll spend less time focusing on trying to recall tasks and more time actually working and being productive. Your families will appreciate that you don’t forget meetings, prepare arrangements for services according to their expectations, and don’t mess up the paperwork of their deceased loved ones.

Be Present

It can be easy to let your thoughts wander or think about everything in your life. Instead of thinking ahead, live in the moment. Not in a way that you do nothing because you’re enjoying every moment, but in a way that you do tasks as you have the ability. When completing work, focus only on what you're trying to do at that time. 

You may need to separate yourself from things that can distract you, such as mobile devices or people. But being present will help you focus on the task at hand. This comes in handy when speaking with families because they expect your undivided attention. If you're worried about stepping away from the phones, a live answering service will ensure that callers get personalized attention while you're busy.

Things Happen

Expect for things not to go as planned. Surprises and monkey wrenches get thrown into life all the time, so don’t be militant with your tasks. Set the things you need to complete so that you can get to them as you are able. Allow yourself to take a break if necessary.

Having too much to do can overwhelm you and cause stress and burnout, but you can cope and get things done. Following these rules can help you make the most of every day and be productive at the funeral home and your own home.

Funeral Directors: Three Tips for Making Time for a Summer Getaway

Summer is here and you want to go on a vacation. The problem is, you want to make sure you're available to your funeral home when you are needed, but you don’t want an interruption that will send you back home. The solution? A few tips that will help you make time for a summer getaway before the summer gets away from you.

Delegate

You can’t do everything on your own, especially when you're on vacation. If there are things that you can have someone else handle while you’re away, do it. Trust the people that you work with every day to have the same care you do.

If necessary, outsource some of the tasks you usually complete for the duration of your trip. A funeral home answering service can handle calls, schedule appointments, and more. If you typically take first calls, you can find a service to complete them for you and the answering service will make the arrangements for you.

Review on the Go

If you just have to check in, use messaging, apps, or chat to keep up with schedules, calls, and meetings without having to pick up the phone or physically be at the funeral home. Make sure that everyone understands that calls should only be directed to you in an emergency when no one else can handle the situation — because it’s not really a getaway if you’re taking every call, is it?

Advance Notice

Let everyone know in advance that you're planning a summer getaway, so they can be prepared to help and learn anything they may not already be acquainted with doing. Giving people enough time to find replacement services, become proficient at new tasks, or set up calling services can take a little bit of time. If you give notice, then the sting won’t be as bad and everyone else at the funeral home can be ready to fill in the gaps.

Make sure any lingering paperwork that you planned on getting to is completed before you leave, so there's less of a chance your vacation would need to be interrupted.

As a funeral director, you're an indispensable part of your funeral home, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get away for some of your summer. With a little preparation and notice, you can plan a getaway that will let you rejuvenate and enjoy other parts of your life.