ASD – Answering Service for Directors Expands Remote Capabilities to Support Funeral Homes Through COVID-19 Pandemic
Media, PA—With more than 90% of staff currently working from home, ASD – Answering Service for Directorshas taken steps to greatly expand the company’s remote capabilities in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. In previous years, ASD took steps to ensure the majority of its workforce could handle calls from their homes in the event of a major weather event. These advanced preparations allowed the company to transition seamlessly to a remote office model, ensuring that ASD’s funeral home clients received reliable telephone support through the pandemic.
On Friday, March 6, ASD’s owners received word that several people in the local area had tested positive for coronavirus. Upon learning of the COVID-19 spread to its county, ASD immediately began operating with an abundance of caution in an effort to protect the health and well-being of the company’s employees as well as their families. ASD’s owners instructed all employees with a home computer to begin working remotely for the foreseeable future. The company also immediately cancelled a funeral home training event it had previously scheduled for Thursday, March 12.
In the weeks that followed, ASD’s Technical Team worked around the clock to expand the company’s remote capabilities. Previously, the company provided home computers to any person who had been employed for 9 months or longer. After learning of the coronavirus outbreak in the local area, ASD began deploying home computers to any employee who had been with the company for 6 months or longer. These efforts quickly brought ASD’s home user count to over 200 employees.
All Call Specialists’ home computer stations are equipped with a 37-inch curved monitor that displays a large amount of funeral home data for real-time use. ASD Supervisors are scheduled around the clock to help clients make any necessary updates to their account and to monitor staff working remotely. By regularly calibrating staff, reviewing client concerns immediately and using ASD’s stealth mode to evaluate calls for quality assurance, ASD’s supervisors ensure the company’s level of service remains consistent.
The transition has been seamless for ASD clients. Since ASD exclusively works with the funeral profession, clients have not experienced the long hold times and communication disruptions commonly affecting other answering services that work with medical doctors and healthcare organizations which have been overwhelmed during this pandemic. While more than 90% of ASD staff is working remotely, the company’s physical location has remained opened for new employees and those in training. ASD anticipates its call volume could possibly increase and therefore will continue to hire and train new employees while following social distancing guidelines.
On March 20, Pennsylvania state Governor, Tom Wolfe, ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses in PA to close their physical locations. However, these restrictions did not apply to ASD due to the crucial role the company plays in death care services. The governor recognized ASD as a critical supplier of the funeral industry and the company was given authorization to continue to provide life-sustaining services for its clients.
From a letter sent to ASD from the Pennsylvania Governor’s Office: “[ASD] plays a critical role in the manufacture and supply of goods and services necessary to sustain life and may continue to operate at the physical location identified in the application.”
ASD keeps a log of the company’s daily statistics and call volume. When comparing the latest call statistics with data from before the pandemic hit, ASD has found that funeral homes are receiving 6% more phone calls currently. On average, more than 95% of all incoming calls handled by ASD have been answered by the fourth ring. In an effort to help support funeral homes that may be experiencing telephone difficulties, the company is offering a free, 30-day trial with a quick, simple set up process. To learn more about ASD’s Free Trial, visit myasd.com/free-trial.
In addition, the company is also offering existing clients a free trial of its collaborative texting tool, MobileFH® Texting through the remainder of 2020. With funeral directors needing to text with families more than ever right now, this solution allows users to send and receive a text message using the funeral home’s main business number. Text messages are stored securely within the ASD Mobile app, making it easier for funeral home teams to keep track of their mobile communications with families and other contacts. To learn more about this feature, visit bit.ly/asdtexting.
“With all of the logistical challenges and difficult decisions funeral directors are facing now, one thing they won’t have to worry about through this pandemic are their telephone lines,” says ASD Vice President and Family-Member Owner, Kevin Czachor. “ASD is running strong! We will remain a reliable and dedicated partner to the funeral homes across the country who are counting on our service for telephone support through this crisis.”
ASD – Answering Service for Directors has created a new class of answering service for the funeral profession. Family owned and operated since 1972, ASD blends state-of-the-art technology with an extensive, 6-month training program focusing on compassionate care. The company’s custom-built communication systems and sophisticated mobile tools were designed solely to meet the needs of funeral professionals. By offering funeral directors unmatched protection for their calls, ASD has redefined the role of an answering service for funeral homes. For more information, visit www.myASD.com or call 1-800-868-9950.