Customer Champion Award: Hopkinson Wootton Lovatt 0

Hopkinson Wootton Lovatt

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

The team at Hopkinson Wootton LovattEvery 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: 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

Beyond Customer Champion Award: A & A Doyle 0

funeralbooker customer champion

Here at Beyond, we think it’s important to recognise those funeral directors that provide outstanding service and who go above and beyond what is expected of them. So we’ve created the Beyond Customer Champion Award to do just that.


Beyond connects people with a funeral director every few minutes, which puts us in a unique position to recognise the dedicated and compassionate work being done by funeral directors who consistently go above and beyond to help bereaved people say goodbye to their loved ones. This is work which can make all the difference to a family struggling to cope with the loss of someone dear to them.


Each month, we’ll be digging into the reviews left by families of funeral directors whom they’ve engaged, and pick out an example of exceptional practice for our Customer Champion Award. These are reviews left by people who have actually used their services, who can speak to their approach and ensure that families considering their services in the future have real testimonials from real people.


So without greater ado…our inaugural Beyond Customer Champion is: A & A Doyle


A & A Doyle


Based on a recommendation by John Henry from Galashiels, we are delighted to recognise A & A Doyle for the incredible support that they offered John at a difficult time. With previous experience of the high cost of funerals in his local area, John decided to search the internet for more affordable funeral directors and got in touch with A & A Doyle through our platform. With the average cost of a funeral in the UK totalling £3,784, John was happy with the very reasonable £2,665 he was quoted by A & A Doyle, but even more pleased with the level of support, warmth and compassion that they offered him at every stage of the process. Although an affordable service in comparison with the reported average funeral cost in the UK, John said that the quality of service which he received was exceptional, and it didn’t feel as though corners were being cut, or as though he and his funeral requirements were being rushed through on ‘a conveyor belt.’


From his first meeting with Awdri and Allan at A & A Doyle, John found them to be understanding, helpful and able to explain the funeral and all its associated technicalities in both great detail and complete clarity, without ever feeling under pressure to make a quick decision or spend more money. For the recently bereaved, many of whom may find themselves vulnerable at such a distressing time, this is a fantastic quality to find in a funeral director and one which should be heartily commended. John also found them easy to reach by telephone whenever he had a query or required additional information, and was impressed by how quickly they responded to his initial enquiry through Beyond.


However, it was the attention to detail, care and dignity with which A & A Doyle conducted the funeral itself that really made the difference to John. The service offered family and friends a beautiful opportunity to pay their respects and all in attendance were given the time they needed to remember the deceased without ever feeling rushed. Throughout it all, A & A Doyle offered fantastic support and assistance to John, with Awdri Doyle there to give John a particularly beautiful hug at the service itself, one he described as ‘quite possibly the greatest hug I’ve ever received.’


We would like to thank John Henry for his review and also note that he would happily recommend A & A Doyle to anyone requiring funeral services in the Galashiels area. We would also like to congratulate A & A Doyle on the incredible service they provide and the understanding and support they are able to offer their customers.

View John’s review, and A & A Doyle’s Beyond profile here.