There are few industries that are as intimate as the funeral profession.

When someone calls you, they’re actively contemplating their own or a loved one’s mortality. It’s a lot of responsibility for you and your staff, to be sure. There reaches a point, though, when you simply can’t handle all of the callers that are looking to you for answers. At least, you can’t handle them all at the same time.

This is when you know you have to find some help. A funeral answering service can be the right answer. Even though you may worry about how they’ll handle your callers, you’ll be able to find a good fit if you look for the right signs.

Signs You’ve Found the Right Funeral Answering Service

There’s no way to be one hundred percent sure that your answering service is going to be perfect for your callers, but you can still end up pretty high up there if you watch for these four must-haves while interviewing companies and reviewing their recorded calls:

  • They offer 24/7 answering. This is one of the most important features you can ask for in a funeral home answering service.
    Death doesn’t creep in on a convenient banker’s schedule. People may call you all times of the day and night, depending on the services you offer. You need an answering service that will be awake when your callers are, even after hours.
  • Real, live agents. People who call you are often bereaved and vulnerable. The voice of a cold machine is the last thing they want to hear. When real people answer the phone, it can bring a sense of comfort and maybe even give those grieving family members some hope that life can go on at some point.
  • Active listeners. Some telephone operators are interested in answering the phone and then shaking the caller off as quickly as possible.
    Of course, this is a product of their work environment, where cold numbers like “handle time” are rated more highly than whether or not a caller was actually helped at all by their call. When operators are instead actively listening and looking for solutions to problems without rushing callers, you get a very different result: clients who really believe in your funeral home.
  • They’re funeral answering specialists. It’s one thing to answer the phone for a property manager or a bookstore, but it’s another to handle funeral home calls day in and day out.
    It takes a certain kind of person with a specific kind of touch to be able to comfort the bereaved as part of their job. But, these are the ones that you really want as your partners. The more experience they have working with the funeral industry, the better off your callers will be.

There’s never a reason that your funeral home callers should have to feel like they’re on their own. Ditch the voicemail or answering machine and give your clients what they truly deserve: a real, live operator every single time they call, no matter if it’s day or night.