GFD has created the following summary of technology you can use to help limit your face-to-face exposure while maintaining the communication that is so vital to your business and your client families. Where appropriate, we have included links to external websites and services. Please note that GFD does not endorse any of these services, and we recommend that you do your research and weigh each vendor’s features and benefits against your own unique requirements.
Just because you can’t meet in person doesn’t mean you can’t meet face-to-face! Holding meetings online can allow you to communicate effectively with the added benefit of being able to see each other. The psychological benefit of actually seeing the other person on the other end cannot be understated, and has the unintended benefit of preventing distractions.
- Face to face interaction
- Host multiple attendees at a time, or limit the number of attendees
- Schedule meetings in advance, and send invitations which synchronize with the recipient’s digital calendars
- Share your screen, which can be useful for delivering presentations or walking people through your product selection
- Ability to record meetings for future reference/use
Familiarizing yourself with online meetings can have both short- and long-term benefits. As you and your staff learn how to maximize the new format, you could start using the software to record weekly video blogs for your Facebook page. Or perhaps hosting an online Q-and-A session following an in-person seminar.
Using the GFD Website
The GFD website was designed to make administration for our Members easy and accessible anywhere. Whether you’re working from your office, your home, or your funeral home, our website is available anywhere there is an internet connection and a web browser.
Some of the most useful features include:
- Applications & Forms: This section includes the important resources you need to submit applications, trust claims and care & maintenance contributions. You can also download dozens of forms, contract examples, ledger sheets, and other templates.
- My Statements & Reports: Users with Manager-level access to our site can access new and historical monthly statements and regulatory reports for their location.
- GFD U Online Training: Everyone with access to the GFD Member site also has access to our online training site, GFD U, containing courses, programs, and downloadable resources to sharpen your skills and product knowledge.
If any of your staff require access, we have different access levels available depending on what they are required to see. Users can be restricted to just the GFD U Training Site, can be set to Employee-level so they can submit applications and download forms, or Manager-level access which also provides access to statements and reports.
Sharing Documents Securely
With the limiting of face-to-face meetings and interactions, you will likely have to rely on digital versions of documents you previously would have been delivering or receiving physically.
As technology and the way we interact evolves, sharing documents online is quickly becoming more and more of a normal practice. And although sharing documents can be easy (we’ve all sent attachments via email or text message in the past) there are some important “best practices” to keep in mind:
- When sending private or privileged information, password-protecting those documents can help keep that information safe, with reduced liability in case it gets into the wrong hands. As most documents are sent in PDF format, here is a helpful walkthrough on how to protect those files: https://helpx.adobe.com/ca/acrobat/using/securing-pdfs-passwords.html
- When choosing a password, remember to make each one unique. It is wise to use a combination of upper- and lower-case letters, at least one special character, and making the passwords at least 8 characters long.
- Passwords can be standardized. Passwords can be unique without having to be overly difficult to remember, especially if you and your staff need are all creating passwords separately. For example, including the client’s contract number in the password along with a standardized phrase: ThankYou#0001 or [email protected] so each one is unique, but easy for your staff to keep track of.
- Do not maintain an unprotected list of passwords. There are several secure password management services available to keep track of this information, such as Dashlane: https://www.dashlane.com/business/features
The current situation can provide a good opportunity to start practicing your social media skills. The nature of social media as an interactive platform is ideal for bereavement professionals as community leaders to help keep the public informed.
We have a course on GFD U covering social media marketing which we encourage you to check out. Here are some quick tips to help get you started:
- People have questions; focus on providing answers. Use your status as community leaders to educate your followers
- Consider recording and posting videos of you or your staff; seeing a qualified professional deliver information in person is reassuring and allows you to highlight your important role of service to their families.
- When discussing your services; focus on those that directly relate to the potential needs arising from current events. Live streaming services, for example.
- Follow and share relevant content pieces, government and community notices, and safety tips
Live streaming services have been around for several years now, but now more than ever having this option available to your client families is becoming a necessity. Fortunately, live streaming can be set up fairly easily and can provide several helpful features:
- Allows you to schedule streaming, recording, and distribution of each service
- Provide you the ability to open or restrict different features as required (ie/ record the service rather than livestream it)
- Allows people in other provinces or countries, or who are unable to leave their homes or travel to your establishment to feel welcomed and included.