Hiring staff with qualities such as empathy, tact and a calm and soothing temperament are all important for a funeral operation. What some funeral homes may not consider is how other elements of their operation may inadvertently reinforce or damage a family’s perception of their services. Deaths occur 24/7, but when no one is available to take a family’s calls outside of business hours, that family might look elsewhere. An answering service can fill in during times when employees are unreachable and still give families a sense of a business that is caring and present.
The issue is not just one of availability after hours. A person may need to reach the business during a natural disaster such as a hurricane that has knocked out phone lines. Even less-dramatic occurrences can lead to a temporary loss of service. With call forwarding in place, a family can always reach someone no matter what the local situation may be.
The ability to always reach another human being is an important factor as well. Some funeral homes might think that allowing a person to leave a voice mail is sufficient, but there are a number of reasons why this is not the case. In a particularly fraught emotional time, people want to connect with someone else. Sometimes they may simply be too distraught to leave a message. Even when there is no emotional turmoil involved, think about how often you simply hang up on an invitation to leave a message and look elsewhere. Being able to make a human connection can be an important part of making a family feel as though the funeral home cares for them.
There are many aspects to running a funeral home compassionately besides answering the phone and having an answering service ensures that these other aspects can get full attention. Call forwarding means that those who are tasked with answering the phones onsite can give each caller as much time as needed with the assurance that there is backup if others call in. The director can focus entirely on the family during viewings or funeral planning without being concerned about whether callers are being adequately served.
Funeral homes serve a unique and essential need in a community. For that reason alone, it is critical that those in need of funeral home services be able to reach the business at all times. Answering services help ensure that whatever type of loss a person may have suffered, there is always a voice at the other end of the telephone line.