Grappling reduced resource, dispersed workforces and the huge spike in demand, brokers are putting themselves at risk of damaged reputation as customer service drops below par.
The shift to remote working unearthed limitations within legacy systems and processes for many, potentially sending them into a tailspin of clunky quick-fix solutions.
As soon as we entered lockdown, we recognised a change in client behaviour.
People wanted to talk for longer around more complex issues and lack of childcare meant that a significant amount of calls were coming outside of the usual 9-5.
We’ve been investing in telephone answering support to manage overflow calls for many years.
But as we were forced to make changes to the way we were working, we decided to outsource our inbound calls rather than route those to mobiles that may or may not have access to a strong signal.
The intention being that any client queries or potential leads are handled with care and client experience is never compromised.
Outsourcing used to be a dirty word, but its image has changed.
Outsourcing now refers to strategic relationships that enable businesses to overcome challenges and allow clients to take advantage of a level of service they wouldn’t have access to otherwise.
In the wake of the pandemic – this could not have been more accurate.
Our whole team was suddenly working from home and in addition to this, the impact of Covid-19 meant that our sales team were spending much longer on the phone getting through to lenders.
Call volumes went through the roof and the leads coming in were more often than not from customers motivated to buy, but needing to be financially qualified in order to make a reservation on a new property.
We simply did not have the resource to offer the level of customer service we aim to deliver and a drop in quality wasn’t an option – there was too much at stake, commercially and reputationally.
We know from experience that people don’t hang around waiting for a phone to be answered and they certainly don’t leave voicemails.
If they’re not dealt with efficiently and professionally, a consumer will simply go to the next business they find on Google – that’s just the way things are today.
Rules for calls
We have specific instructions in place for each type of enquiry and our provider Moneypenny identifies whether a call is sales or admin related and handles accordingly.
This prioritisation tells us whether to progress with a follow-up quickly or leave less time-critical calls for a more suitable time, reducing waiting times and enabling us to filter and qualify leads more quickly.
Client experience has always been important to Mortgage Bureau but 2020 has seen demands and behaviours change drastically and put the spotlight on those businesses that truly care.
Investment in outsourced communications support has enabled us to be agile and available at a time when people really needed us.
We’ve not only survived but thrived and with another lockdown upon us, it’s business as usual.