A Matter Of Time — Punctuality And Customer Service

Edward CutlerImagine you are the director of a play. It’s opening night, thousands of dollars have been invested, hours of preparation and rehearsals were poured into the production. Expectations are at a peak as the minutes tick by towards curtain time. Suddenly, you are told that the leading man is nowhere to be found. What do you say to the audience?

As a funeral director, maintaining a policy of punctuality can be comparable to upholding a contractual agreement.

Consider if you have just purchased a car. The ink on hasn’t even dried on your check, when the salesman informs you that you will need to pay an additional $100.00. He hadn’t bothered to include the cost of detailing the car because he was too busy. But, it’s only a few dollars. Surely you won’t mind. Bets are that you would mind. In kind, your clients would also mind the inconvenience of several minutes delay.

Here’s a few points on punctuality:

  • Be early. Arriving to a meeting just in time, can often leave you feeling hurried instead of composed and relaxed. Your clients will often respond better to you if you present yourself in a calm manner, a calmness they will likely need. Being early also can show clients that you have made time just for them in your schedule.
  • Grief can stretch time. Moments begin to become minutes and waiting can amplify an already-painful state. Being aware and considerate of your client’s emotional distortions of time can prove to be crucial in prompting you to provide prompt service. If you have trouble keeping track of time during your busy day, why not visit Wingate’s Quality Watches. They offer a wide variety of top brands and include a free catalog.
  • No waiting. Most of us have had the unpleasant experience of being herded into a doctor’s waiting room. Usually, we are ill or in pain. Compound an ailment with being made to wait when you have made every effort to be on time despite being un-well makes for an unhappy patient. Wouldn’t you like to shave off a dollar for every minute you were kept waiting? Now, think if you had just lost a loved-one, how shock rolled into pain would feel. A funeral director leads you into a waiting room, leaves you there for 15 minutes — or longer. Would you feel disrespected? Angry? Would you begin to consider looking for another funeral home, one that considers your time as being valuable?
  • If waiting can’t be helped. Occasionally, there are instances when brief waiting is necessary. And I do mean brief. It helps to inform your clients as to how long of a wait is expected. They will often be more understanding if they know how long they will be delayed. It helps to do your best to provide your clients with some type of distraction, turn the focus of waiting towards something more pleasant. Although, people experiencing grief may not be inclined to partake in refreshments, the fact that you have made them available will likely be appreciated. Look for quality coffees and teas at Coffee Bean Direct.
  • Late staff. Nearly all of us have been late to work on occasion. But, has someone on your staff made a habit of being tardy? The domino effect holds especially true in a small work environment where one person’s performance can have a deep and immediate impact on everyone. The effect will often trickle down to your clients who won’t want to know why you or your staff is late. Likely, their only concern is that your customer service is slow. Try to mirror this stance with your staff who can’t seem to be on time.

The bottom line is how well you provide prompt and quality service to your clients.

Image: Edward Cutler, from Sutton Coldfield, is the UK’s newest owner of a funeral directors – at the tender age of 19. His snappy dress and business style has made him a popular funeral director at age 19. Read more at the Birmingham Mail.

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