Customer Champion Award: Hopkinson Wootton Lovatt 0

Hopkinson Wootton Lovatt

So professional, so kind – we both felt that they were part of our family.

Every now and again, we receive a customer review that’s just so overwhelmingly positive that we just can’t resist sharing it here on the Beyond blog. This was the case when we spoke to Paul Johnson about his experience with Hopkinson Wootton Lovatt, who are the now very worthy winners of our Customer Champion Award. Congratulations, guys!

“Everything from start to finish – from when they came out to the house, when they invited us to their premises in Wolstanton, when they organised everything for us – everything was so professional, they were so kind,” Paul said, adding that “Beyond and the funeral directors worked together as an absolutely superb team.”

Based in Wolstanton, Hopkinson Wootton Lovatt is perhaps the quintessential historic family-run funeral directors. The business was founded back in 1820 by Cornelius Wootton and his brothers, and has been a family affair ever since, changing hands to a nephew (Sidney Hopkinson) and a husband and wife team (Bill and Iris Lovatt) along the way. Nowadays, it’s run by Bill and Iris’ grandson Andrew, and the business has grown to include catering and masonry services alongside undertaking.

This family history may be why the team at Hopkinson Wootton Lovatt are so good at making bereaved clients feel at home. “I thought, we’ve gone through life, we’ve lost quite a few in the family, and [funeral directors] all know the job very, very well – but they seemed just to go that little bit further,” Paul told Beyond. “I felt as though they were part of the family; I’ve never felt that before. They were excellent.”

Paul was also impressed by how the Hopkinson Wootton Lovatt team went the extra mile to make the funeral a fitting and personal tribute to his wife’s mother, a big Doris Day fan. They tracked down a CD and worked with the vicar to make sure the service was just right. “She had an absolutely great send off,” Paul explained. “Even though it wasn’t the nicest of days, obviously, it being a funeral, I felt relaxed. They gave me a lot of strength and I’m very, very grateful. [On behalf of] my family, my wife and I, I’d like to say that it was very much appreciated.

“We both felt that they were part of our family. So, a thousand thanks to everybody concerned.”

If you’d like to arrange a funeral with Hopkinson Wootton Lovatt, or if you’d just like to find out more about the team, you can check out their Beyond profile here.

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Beyond Customer Champion Award: James Funeral Service 0

James Funeral Service Funeral Directors in Harrow London

This month, after reading a particularly glowing report of their service, we are very pleased to announce that the Beyond Customer Champion Award for October is awarded to: James Funeral Service based in Harrow.

James Funeral Service Funeral Directors in Harrow LondonWe decided to speak with Mr Keith Keshwar in light of the kind words he left regarding his experience using James Funeral Service. After losing somebody close to him, Keith spent several days phoning around to different funeral directors in order to begin making arrangements. Dismayed to find that many of them were primarily interested in talking about money, Keith turned to Beyond to help find a reputable funeral director is his local area.

Initially concerned about his financial circumstances, Keith was worried that he would be stuck without a proper funeral for his loved one. However, after connecting with James through Beyond, he was immediately reassured from the very first contact:

‘I phoned around to a few people and he was far and away the best person I spoke to. When I first made contact with him on the phone, I was comforted by the way he spoke and how he dealt with my issues.’

Keith was not short on praise when we asked him about the service itself: ‘James was excellent and gave me the perfect service – I can’t fault it. He went beyond the call of my expectations, and I couldn’t ask for anything more than that really.

‘Everyone else was more interested in the money, but not James. What he said he would deliver is exactly what he did. He communicated with me throughout the whole process and made sure every little thing was attended to.’

When asked if the quote he received on Beyond was accurate, Keith had this to say: ‘What James advertised was exactly what I got; he was incredibly honest and truthful, and his service exceeded my expectations. He fully deserves all the praise he gets.’

If you would like to make contact with James Funeral Service, then please take a look at their funeral director profile here.

Beyond Customer Champion Award: Sayce & Bull 0

funeralbooker customer champion

With great pleasure we can announce that the winner of September’s Customer Champion Award – recognising excellence in funeral care towards Beyond’s customers – is Sayce & Bull, who are based in Eastbourne.

Sayce & Bull


As every month, we comb through the reviews left by real customers who have used our platform to find their local funeral director and pick the best one as the basis for this award.


Last month, a person who wishes to remain anonymous lost her husband. On the advice of a friend who had previously used another local funeral directors twice before, she visited with that firm. It seems that this firm has since been taken over by a national chain, and the person was distressed by the way she had been treated; with no sense of compassion and no great effort being made to understand what she was going through, and no willingness to help her in planning a meaningful farewell.


The customer did not feel right about the way this meeting had gone. On the advice of some friends, after a sleepless Saturday night, she decided to take the “unusual step” of shopping around. She came across Beyond (then Funeralbooker), and used our service because we are available to speak to customers on Sundays.


After filling in the enquiry form for Sayce & Bull on their profile page, one of our team gave her a call and informed her that someone from Sayce & Bull would call her back in 10 minutes, which they did. From this first phonecall, she was impressed by Miranda’s professional and caring approach.


She had begun planning the funeral with the previous funeral directors, and had already booked a slot for her husband at the crematorium. This caused a lot of stress, as she did not want to have to deal with this funeral directors again. Immediately, Miranda made all this stress “melt away,” assuring her that the crematorium slot was booked in her husband’s name, and not in that of the funeral directors.


Incredibly, the figure quoted by Sayce & Bull was £2,000 cheaper than the quote she had received previously, and this quote did not even include a limousine.


The lady wanted to do the best for her husband, and found the support that she was given by Miranda to be amazing down to every last detail. She was given choice, advice and emotional support at this difficult time, and by the end of the funeral Miranda was “like an old friend” to her.


There is perhaps no greater compliment to be made to Sayce & Bull than: “It was a great shame he couldn’t be there. He would have really enjoyed it.”


It’s sentiments like this, and the fair pricing strategy (brought so sharply into focus when contrasted with the fees charged by the national chain) which make Sayce & Bull the deserved winner of our Customer Champion Award for September. Getting a funeral right can be a massive help in the grieving process, and we’re proud to help people at these trying times to find a funeral director who will do right by them and their loved one.


Take a look at Sayce & Bull’s profiles here:


Bexhill on Sea