Have a useable Business Contingency plan
We talk to many large firms about Business Continuity and having a process in place for a disaster, but some situations can be more harmful than say; a loss of communication for an hour when the phone lines are down. How about months of being too busy to service clients or not having the capacity to call back the new enquires? Especially when you have worked so hard to drive them into the business – only to fail when they do call in.
You can outsource telephone calls to the benefit of your teams. Allow them the breathing space to focus on their work. Give your clients the best possible caller experience without making them feel rushed or unimportant. It can be taken for granted just how impressionable those first 5 seconds are. You want to maintain your firm’s reputation even when you are under strain. We have all had to embrace working swan like, appearing calm when under the surface we are all paddling like crazy. So, these are some of the options to enable you to gain support when you need it most.
Don’t forget the bigger picture.
When you have a successful BCP in place, there is no last-minute panic or downtime. Planning for added resiliency is what really makes it a success. You need to maintain that plan and keep it up to date so that in an emergency, you can gain from the flexibility outsourcing partners can offer. As part of the heightened demand from our clients to use us as part of their disaster recovery, we have put more resource into our own processes to help onboard clients quickly. We have doubled the size of our recruitment team, overhauled our onboarding systems, and worked hard to support clients in their hour of need. It does help to have these plans already in place to avoid unexpected lead times.
Don’t be afraid to lean on other teams for support if they are best placed to help. It may mean taking resource away from areas of the business that are easier to outsource. This is an efficient way to adapt in a crisis situation.
We’ve had firms join us to work on outbound calling campaigns. This is another area you can outsource to gain support. The type of campaigns we handle include contacting existing clients to offer more assistance, like checking their wills are up to date. Providing the type of client care, you may have thought was more of a luxury than a necessity but has paid off by gaining repeat business and more client referrals. Most commonly, we have called new enq’s that are waiting for call-backs, reaching them before they had looked elsewhere and even handling conveyancing quotes. Ultimately the goal is to progress these calls into qualified leads, ready to be handed over to your team.
According to ResponseiQ, businesses that respond to new enquiries within five minutes are 21 times more likely to convert the lead than those who keep an enquirer waiting for 30 minutes or longer.
And 78% of people will do business with the firm that contacts them first.
Keep client care levels high
The best thing you can do is to make sure you are providing the best possible client experience, regardless of what challenges you are facing.
Start with walking the client journey. How easy is it to communicate with your firm? Do you need to be more accessible? Are you contactable out of hours? Introduce Live Chat to your website and offer another communication channel. Clients can ask a quick question and new website visitors can convert into qualified leads much quicker. There are solutions out there to help in a crisis and avoid having to say no to new business.