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Unit 4 – A Death Has Occurred: First steps

Unless the Call is made by a professional, the first call is often made by a bereaved person who may well be extremely distressed and / or confused and it is therefore very important that the call is handled by someone who is properly trained and experienced.

As many funeral businesses offer 24/7 care, they must ensure that the telephone is staffed day and night by colleagues who are both qualified and experienced in handling such sensitive conversations and are able to deal with any actions which result from the call.

Best practice for first calls is that funeral directors will:

  • answer the telephone promptly;
  • greet the caller in accordance with their internal policies
  • be warm, empathetic, patient and helpful, offering reassurance throughout;
  • give the caller plenty of time so they do not feel they are being quizzed for information;
  • minimise any waiting time for the caller
  • deal with questions effectively.
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