Customer Champion Award: J F Knight Funeral Directors 0

J F Knight Funeral Directors

It’s the little things that often stand out the most to families after a funeral. The small yet thoughtful gestures that spoke to the funeral director’s attention to detail – the little space of calm that was created when they knew that everything that could be taken care of, had been taken care of.

It’s this professionalism that made this month’s Customer Champion Award winner the obvious choice. As Beyond client Matthew Milne put it: “Little things that you wouldn’t normally think of just came through, and nothing seemed too much trouble.”

Congratulations, J F Knight Funeral Directors!

Who are J F Knight Funeral Directors?

J F Knight Funeral DirectorsJ F Knight Funeral Directors is an independent funeral service headed up by Jamie Knight, who started the business in 2014 after 25 years in the industry. Jamie describes his approach as one that blends the old with the new, giving families as much choice as they need to plan a personal funeral:

“I’m quite traditional, but I like to go with all the modern ideas as well – there’s many different options for people these days,” Jamie told Beyond. He explained that while families in Sheffield often still appreciate older funeral traditions like the funeral director walking in front of the hearse, they’re also open to new ways of celebrating a life, such as fingerprint jewellery.

“It’s giving people that choice. Everyone’s different in life, so everybody’s funeral should be different as well.”

“The quality of what they did was first class.”

J F Knight Funeral Directors vehicle fleetThis personal approach means that families feel well cared for. Matthew Milne, who found J F Knight on Beyond after his father died, said: “From the very beginning, Jamie was very pleasant and attentive.

“Obviously, my mum was very upset at losing my dad and her husband, but he helped her through the process from start to finish and took care of everything … the quality of what they did was first class.

“He even arranged for the flowers to be redistributed on a friend’s daughter’s grave after the cremation … Nothing seemed too much trouble, everything was, you know, ‘Yes, don’t worry, we’ll sort it out.’”

“I wouldn’t change this job for anything.”

The quality of service Matthew mentioned comes partly from experience: Jamie can measure his career in decades, rather than years. But it also comes from a sense of having stumbled upon his calling.

“I stumbled across it, but like I say, I wouldn’t change this job for anything,” Jamie told Beyond. He started out as a television engineer in a local Co-op, but as the televisions improved, the work dropped off. Jamie chose a transfer to the funeral department as an alternative to redundancy – and instantly fell in love with the work:

“I’ve never looked back. I took a diploma and paid for it myself. I’m currently training to be a tutor to teach the diploma. I am really passionate about it: I love it. It’s not a job, it’s like my hobby – but I get paid to do it.”

“A much more personal service.”

Jamie Knight from J F Knight Funeral DirectorsJamie eventually moved from the Co-op to an independent funeral home before starting his own business. “The independents give a much more personal service,” he explained. “We make friends – I have people call in for a coffee. You’d never ever have that at the Co-op, because (especially when I was there) I might arrange a funeral, and somebody else might go out and look after the family on the day. Whereas, as an independent, you tend to do everything, so you’re on first name terms with most of the family.

“If a family wants to see me two or three times, I’ll go out to see them two or three times. I’ll go out at night and see them if they want … Even though we’re a lot smaller than the Co-ops, we don’t have to limit or justify the time we spend with families.”

Families appreciate this dedication: “Even after the funeral had finished, [Jamie] still helped us out with some other bits and pieces as well … you can’t fault that for customer service.” Matthew said. “He basically sorted everything out for us, from the booking of the crematorium to getting my dad picked up from the hospital.

“It was just one of those things where we were just able to put all that to one side and let him take care of it … I found them to be excellent.”

Want to find out more about J F Knight Funeral Directors? Check out their Beyond profile here to see their services, pictures and reviews.

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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.