Ringing the changes to client call handling
Joanna Swash, Director at Moneypenny, discusses the growing trend of Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) being undertaken by firms keen to raise service levels, achieve regulation compliance and reduce overheads.
In your opinion, why are more and more firms embracing LPO?
I think a combination of the recession and the arrival of Alternative Business Structures mean firms have been forced to embrace the idea of outsourcing administrative tasks to stay competitive and deliver client choice. I would certainly hope the thought has been worse than the deed and that in the majority of cases, LPO has enabled firms to reduce the cost and turnaround time of high-volume professional work. Dare I say it, many may even be asking themselves: ‘Why didn’t we do this sooner?’.
Give an example within your industry of a law firm who has implemented LPO effectively.
One of the most recent examples relates to the launch of our 24/7 service. The firm in question had a dedicated project team, which included a Business Continuity expert, who worked tirelessly over a number of months delving into all areas of our business and testing our resilience against anything we might be faced with. It was a clinical approach and we were extremely pleased with the conclusion that we had robust processes in place, capable of dealing with any problem that might arise.
Our 24/7 service is delivered by our own UK receptionists who have been seconded to our office in Auckland for six months at a time. We currently provide this firm with a dedicated team working solely for them as a fully outsourced 24/7 switchboard service –saving them over £65,000 per year.
What could law firms learn from businesses in other sectors, such as yours?
That client experience is paramount and customers precious. Every touch point should be considered. Yes, this starts with the initial telephone enquiry being dealt with promptly and professionally (research suggests that 79% of callers hang up when prompted to leave a voicemail message so it’s always worth having a person at the end of the line) but what about the ongoing client journey? Does everyone in your office understand the importance of delivering high customer service at all times: be it via email, telephone or in person?
At Moneypenny, we place a huge amount of emphasis on creating a positive work environment for our team because in our minds, a smile can be heard. Also, don’t bury your head in the sand when it comes to business continuity and DR (although regulation compliance is making it harder and harder to ignore this issue). A client-centric mentality at all times is the order of the day.
What are the main things firms can implement to become more profitable / efficient?
Understand that clients expect the right experience and are more demanding than ever. Set out clear and achievable objectives to meet these expectations, as well as time to review performance regularly. Implement management ownership of Key Performance Indicators to help everyone stay focused. Prices are being squeezed so work smarter when it comes to processes and structures within your firm: develop a good rapport with sound suppliers for mutual benefit and never delegate these relationships. Everyone in your firm should approach their work with a mind on retaining business, selling to clients and seeking new business opportunities.
Outsourced switchboard provider Moneypenny knows a thing or two about answering telephone calls. Endorsed by the Law Society, the award-winning company offers a dedicated legal team that currently works with more than 700 UK firms. To find out more visit www.moneypenny.co.uk/law-firms