We spoke to Elisha Burgil, New Business Manager at Taylor & Emmet Solicitors about the challenges they were facing when engaging and onboarding new clients and how Minerva has helped create an effective and compliant solution for all.
Our approach to onboarding clients was a very long and tedious one. To be honest, the client was not our focus, we would occasionally phone them, but the majority of our communication was via email. This meant that we created a back and forth process which did not help cultivate a relationship with our clients right from the very start.
Of course, it is every service’s aim to create good relationships with their customer. Through our email communication we would then have both the client and our fee earners complete a hefty amount of admin, printing off the necessary documents and then sending it all out, predominantly by post.
During Covid-19 and during lockdown the only change that occurred was that we then didn't send all of the packs out in the post, some went via email, which was still, again, a long tedious process with many documents being attached to the emails.
This is of course very time consuming for each member of staff, especially given volumes with seasonality and things like that.
In terms of our relationship with the clients – we found that we had a lack of knowledge and understanding as we had not cultivated a relationship with them from the very start.
Once all documents had been sent out, our process was a reactive one. Our contact and re-engagement was based on us receiving forms back via email or post, or if the client called us in the main.
Not the position we wanted to be in at all of course. We had the desire to offer a customer service that places the client front and centre and support them throughout the process, be it buying and selling a house or any other legal transactions we do.
For us here at Taylor & Emmet, we feel like we have really stepped up our customer service game and we are well and truly in the 21st century! Now we have the engagement with the client right from the start, we are aware of their genuine needs from the very beginning of our relationship.
We're able to offer a tailored quote to a client and really speak with them and talk through what that what they're requiring from us from the start.
The portal is so easy to use meaning that admin time is massively reduced. So you really feel that you're getting that connection with a customer from the start. And the focus is on support. So obviously, once we've been provided the quote, all the forms are there immediately for the client, we're not having to go away and complete a tonne of admin in getting these forms produced, printed out and then sent. The quote is provided to the client within minutes. Then equally they can accept their quote in minutes and we can get all the relevant paperwork over to them virtually as soon as the quote has been accepted.
The beauty of it is they can then deal with the forms whenever is convenient, no printing and no posting. Minerva allows us to use the portal as a tool to be aware of where they are up to in the process.
This means that we always know where in the process the client is at and the way that the portal prompts the client is brill too. It is a much quicker and smoother process for all involved.
Our own company did think that their elderly clients, who we have got really good working relationships with, wouldn’t want it.
We have made Minerva a process across every department in the firm. We have in fact only had two clients who have not been able to carry out the electronic ID check and we have certainly not found age to be a barrier to entry.
Our older clients have very much been quite open to giving it a go and seeing what happens. And I think in terms of the ID, with a lot of things now, even getting your passport, a lot of that now is all electronic. So people are quite familiar in their everyday life with those sorts of things anyway, so it's not too new to most people.
I've been wanting this for Taylor and Emmett, prior to lockdown we really went with it because it's suited what we were trying to do.
The majority of clients that I deal with, will say, especially if they've been through a transaction before, that Minerva has meant that it's so much more convenient for them.
Historically our contract pack process for us was a very laborious task, very time consuming, and tedious. And what we found is that, whilst we're on a client call, we're providing great customer service to a client and giving them a quote, at the same time, they can even receive the quote whilst we are chatting!
Then, we just send in the forms at the touch of a button. So it's really changed things for us. And it's made it you know, more of an enjoyable task within your working day.