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8 people found this helpful  

Soldier of Fortune-Stretched Thin, Overworked & Underpaid While Being Responsible for the Business Front Lines

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Family Service
Current Employee - Family Service

I have been working at Service Corporation International

Pros

In this "booming" service business, the family service counselor is the front line soldier for this company. By the very nature of this business, it is a very spirtually rewarding experience to help people who are in need. The family service counselor is the central person (other than a funeral director) serving the families with existing needs and preneed business. It's a good feeling to know you make a difference in the lives of those you serve. And, without you and all the others in your position, the company depends on your sales and service to existing customers. You are the soldier of fortune. You serve and protect those in need while working for the largest deathcare corporation in the world!

Cons

This job has endless spiritual rewards for the genuinely caring, relationship-building sales professional. But, it's impossible to manage the excessive amounts of paperwork, cemetery checks, at need funerals (most of which are already paid for) and service requests from unhappy customers. Therefore, it is one of the most spiritually rewarding, but financially devasting careers you can imagine. Again, Spiritually Rewarding and FINANCIALLY DEVASTATING. A no win situation with so much anxiety once you become enrolled in the health benifits and insurance. It took 3 months after employment to have the complicated commission structure explained. This commision structure clearly worked Pre-recession! The only way to swim and not sink is to modify everything you are taught to do for excellence in customer service and minimulize every moment spent in front a person so that you can go on to the next potential sale as quickly as possible. You will not be able to spend time with families who have prepaid, unless can see a potential sale. There is no time to build relationships. The training is intensive so expect to survive for 3+ months on the base salary. If you survive more than a year, you will have to become neutral and somewhat emotionless while serving people facing the worst. The management also requires logging every client into a client management system as well as logging in every outside phone call into the do not call system. You will transform into a machine. The sales manager is paid based on what you earn beyond the $8.00 hourly base. Expect to be micro-managed and asked daily for status reports. Don't even think about getting paid if you work more than 40 hours a week. Overtime is not allowed. You will face allot of addional expenses; gas, cell phone, nice business suits and clothing, and shoes. Endless hours will be spent in the cemetery standing services in all kinds of weather, snow, rain, hot and cold. Be prepared to held accountable for low customer survey scores, unhappy customers and wrongful burials. Because, as the family service (soldier of fortune) you are expected to balance your scheduled duty days with large amounts of paperwork and complicated internment processes, meeting with grieving people, looking for preneed sales, evening prospecting and sales calls, post care meetings with every family you serve, service orders and more. God help you if your location is understaffed. Don't ever make a mistake on a contract, order or authorization because you will have to rewrite it until it's perfect. Most locations are understaffed because of the turnover. The employment advertisements for this job state an average income (in the 40K range) that is not easily obtained, even by the most experienced family counselors. All this while being considered the most important employee to the corporate organization.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

SCI leadership can change what's happening on thier frontlines and make changes that would make this business better. If they would take a hard look at the processes involved with this job. The commission structure worked in a pre-recession economy. The funeral and death care industry is changing and transforming right before their eyes and this company is missing the boat. If evaluated honestly, leadership would see that their most integral people on the frontlines of their business are not able to support their familes. If a family counselor cannot afford to buy lunch out and new shoes, how are they performing on the frontlines? Turnover in counselors and sales managers is further evidence that the upper leadership of SCi needs a wake up call. Worldwide,we are facing the largest boom in end of life services. But consumers are streamlining, rethinking more cost effective alternative and turning to cremation instead of ground burials because of the rising costs. This is a vital and growing service industry. Management needs to recognize that their counselors on the frontlines of their business need to be able to earn an honest living so that they can provide the best service. The company should employee outside expersts like Kenexa to evaluate their compensation, commission structures and benefits.

Doesn't Recommend
Disapproves of CEO

180 Other Employee Reviews for Service Corporation International (View Most Recent)

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great Pay - company has some challenges.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Family Service Counselor
    Current Employee - Family Service Counselor

    I have been working at Service Corporation International

    Pros

    I came to this company for the chance to help families through a difficult time. I had no sales experience, but quickly learned to sell preneed funeral and cemetery plans from fellow Family Service Counselors. You get to make a difference and help families prepare for the most trying times of their life. Excellent compensation (bonus) structure, company matches 401k.

    Cons

    Turnover here is extremely high- more then any other sales position I know of. It's probably due to the nature of our business. There's the stress of a sales job coupled with the emotion of families in crisis. I leave work utterly drained some days.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a good long look at turnover. Stop hiring any and every one who walks through the door. This is not a traditional sales job, so stop hiring as if it is one. Be up front with new employees about the emotional nature of the job.

  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Very, very bad experience working for this company.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Family Service Counselor/Planning Advisor
    Current Employee - Family Service Counselor/Planning Advisor

    I have been working at Service Corporation International

    Pros

    Flexible hours, good benefits and I think that' all the good I have to say about this company. No more no less.

    Cons

    No respect for employees, this company has the biggest revolving door I never seen in my life. New sales people are usually working their butts off so they can money but, at the end, the ones taking advantage of the new employees are the old sales people who spend years after years waiting for the clients to comeback to them without them moving a finger o doing any work, "the old counselors" sit and wait untill the new "counselors" bring the families back to get service, after days, weeks or even months of hard work so the "old couselors" can sign the new contracts and get pay for, doing nothing but sit and wait. Managers promote very unnethical behavior from "Senior Counselors" against new Counselors. This company is not for people who wants to make money to have decent a living, if you want to be in financial problem in a few months this is the right place to work for.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Respect your employees, stop any unethical behavior from managers to counselors, stop over -promising, stop deceiving people in the interviews, and please to not placed family members to work in the same location specially if they are related to managers or genaral managers.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
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