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Leading with purpose

07 October 2021
dean edney at the 2020-2021 PRIDE awards

‘We refuse to sit still, and we are always striving for bigger and better things. Most importantly, we lead rather than follow. That willingness to go the extra mile for our customers always inspires me.’

Dean Edney

At our 2020-2021 PRIDE employee awards, our CX Business Lead, Dean Edney, was the recipient of the Empathy Award. This achievement recognises employees who excel in listening, understanding, and responding to our customers’ needs with respect and sensitivity.

As a much-loved leader, he shows great compassion and appreciates that the best customer service begins with understanding the needs of each individual. He has recently taken on the task of transforming our customer service model and has played a key role in the implementation of our new live-streaming technology, which ensures thousands of families around the world have a way to be virtually present for the funerals of their loved ones.

We jumped at the opportunity to speak with Dean and hear more about these wonderful projects helping families through their grief journey.

Tell us about your role at SMCT.

For five years I was the Customer Experience and Sales Manager at SMCT, responsible for leading our team to serve our customers in the best way possible while overseeing our sales.

Recently, I took on the role of CX Business Lead for the new CRM project. In this role, I am evaluating our customer service model to better understand customer needs. We will then support those requirements through the right technology and an updated, best-in-class service model.

What’s the most rewarding thing about your role at SMCT?

Working with my team is by far the most rewarding part of my role. We refuse to sit still, and we are always striving for bigger and better things. Most importantly, we lead rather than follow. That willingness to go the extra mile for our customers always inspires me.

What’s your biggest source of inspiration?

I’m not really a sports person, but I get inspired by watching athletes at their very best. The way they can bury themselves in ‘mental holes’ and keep going even when they’re completely physically drained motivates me to always keep going.

How did it feel to win the Empathy Award at this year’s PRIDE awards?

I was honoured, grateful, and a bit surprised! What we do as an organisation has so much purpose, and everyone we work with is so aligned to that purpose. That’s what makes SMCT special.

Tell us a bit about a project or initiative you’re proud of.

One project I am particularly proud to have been a part of was the rollout of live streaming for our chapels and service spaces. During the pandemic, when our community was unable to have family and friends present for a service, we were able to provide this tool and improve the experience for families as much as possible. Since introducing live streaming, we’ve connected families across the world via over 75 thousand views and 9 thousand downloads.

Tell us about a favourite SMCT memory.

I have quite a recent one, actually. A family was with one of our consultants recently when they became very emotional during the consultation. The family was in tears, but not of grief. They were overwhelmingly relieved because the consultant had found exactly what they had been looking for. The wording of the plaque, the location, everything, was just as they had hoped. It gave them closure. It was such a beautiful moment and demonstrated to me the purpose of what we do as an organisation and the impact we have on families.

What’s the one thing you wish everybody knew about SMCT?

I want everyone to know how good the food and coffee is! It’s definitely the best in the area. I’d also like everyone to know just how much every person at SMCT cares for the community we serve. Everyone is passionate about helping families in the best possible way. Be it providing personalised customer experience, amazing food, or beautifully kept grounds; we are all driven by one thing.