Co-op Funeral Directors, part of the Chelmsford Star Co-op, has been named Best In Essex for Excellent Customer Service in the Countywide Business Awards 2021.
The team has won multiple customer service awards in the past, but the co-op says they are “hugely proud” to have done so again in a year fraught with difficulties because of the coronavirus pandemic – which has brought specific challenges for the funera industry.
Funeral operations manager, Craig Jackson, said: “Our focus has always been on our clients and their families, but over the last 20 months or so we’ve had to find new ways to meet their needs and to keep adapting to ever-changing legislation.
“Our clients, who are already grieving when we first meet them, have had added traumas brought about by a range of necessary Covid-restrictions. Where our family liaison officers were used to finding ways to meet family requests in the way their departed loved ones were celebrated, now they found themselves having to deny many of their simplest wishes. No gatherings. No more than six at a service. No singing. It was exceptionally difficult.”
A spokespeson for Chelmsford Star added: “There is no question the team at Co-op Funeral Directors have had to adapt, finding new ways to meet their clients’ needs. When their bereavement group meetings were stopped, they kept in touch over the phone. When their offices were closed, they rebuilt their website to allow more online support and services – such as a new funeral ‘builder’ quote service.
“For Co-op Funeral Directors to have been recognised for their excellent customer service within any year would be fantastically rewarding to them, but to have been selected as winners after the last year of heartache and trials within the industry is truly outstanding.”