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How do you deal with back-office support demands during the holiday season?

It’s the 24th December at 4PM. A new customer calls, chasing a quote for services. How have you planned to ensure delivery of the same service levels that you provide throughout the year?   Key question: How do you deal with back-office support demands during the holiday season? A key annual challenge that companies face is how to manage support demand during a season when everyone requests annual leave.   The answer: Outsourced overflow support   In this article we will explore the different options available to manage seasonal and ongoing back-office support demands.   Scenario 1: Most companies We can all relate to the feeling; you telephone a company on or just before a public holiday and the phone just rings out. You ask yourself, is anyone there? Have they all left for the holidays already? Do they not care about servicing their customer? On average companies miss 25% of inbound telephone calls. At peak holiday periods, this is as high as 100%. Let that sink in - your company missing most, if not all, of their telephone calls. Most don’t know there are options available and that it doesn’t have to be this way.   Scenario 2: Conscious companies Some can relate to the other feeling; you telephone a company on or just before a public holiday and the receptionist answers immediately. A welcoming friendly voice: “Good evening ABC Law, how can I help?” Inside you think “I wasn’t expecting them to answer” (as if a business answering their telephone isn’t something you expect). Subconsciously it fills you with confidence in the organisation and its ability to provide the product or service you require. The receptionist deals with your enquiry, collects all relevant details and releases you from the call elated with your experience and ready to go about your business. In the background, the quote gets produced by a secretary and emailed to the client.   Inside you think – wow, what a brilliant customer experience that was at this time of day.   Perception and reputation management is key In an ever more competitive world, your reputation and how the marketplace perceives you are key to the growth and success of your organisation. Having on-demand support available to your organisation can be the difference between servicing customers and retaining them or letting them down and risking that they go with another supplier the next time. Reception Our award-winning reception service helps companies protect their reputation and is available to manage customer contact 24/7 by telephone, live chat, email, SMS, social media and more. Our team of over 200 friendly and experienced staff are ready and waiting at any time to help your customers through your business processes in a friendly and professional manner. Whether it is switchboard overflow or a fully outsourced solution our agile workflows can be easily moulded to your company's processes to ensure we really feel like an extension of your team. Secretarial Our secretarial service is used by companies to ensure that the production of documents never stops. Whether it is transcribing dictations, letters, memos, briefs or long-form reports, our 24/7 teams make sure that your document queue is clear each morning to allow you to start each day fresh. Our team of over 300 secretaries work across more than 100 different case and document management systems, allowing us to file documents away for you in the correct area, ready for your use. We offer both overflow support and a fully outsourced solution meaning that we are available as an ongoing concern or just when you need us. PA Our PA service is used to perform admin tasks of all shapes and sizes. This ranges from contact & counterparty creation to client onboarding, risk & compliance, form submissions, lifestyle management and more. Our team Our team of over 500 UK-based support staff come from law firms, health & care, property & eCommerce organisations across the UK. We are broken down into teams either covering whole sectors for companies with a wide scope of services or more niche teams for those who specialise.   Across all services, the transmission of work is plug and play making it easy to get started and for you to access the support that you need when you need it. We offer a free trial to new clients with the aim of proofing our value add before you start paying. So, with the 2022 holiday season on the horizon, how are you prepared to manage customer demand? If the answer is anything other than "with consistency", talk to us about how we can help.
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Increasing profitability and efficiency with co-sourcing

SME Magazine readers learn the value of using co-sourcing to complete important business functions Solicitor and co-founder of transcription services provider DictateNow, Maxine Park recently explained to the readers of SME Magazine, the growing popularity of co-sourcing compared to traditional outsourcing services. SME Magazine targets owners of small or medium sized businesses, and aims to educate individuals on key industry issues they’re facing. The website offers its readers daily updates and news on industry trends and news, examining the key issues and offering insight for its readers. Maxine’s article highlights how within modern business companies are turning to co-sourcing as a cost-effective way of completing important business functions, and the benefits this can bring compared to traditional outsourcing. The article can be found on the SME Magazine website from 8 January 2018 here.   Alternatively, read Maxine’s advice here:   Increasing profitability and efficiency with co-sourcing Maxine Park, solicitor and co-founder of digital dictation and transcription service provider DictateNow, on why firms are turning from outsourcing to co-sourcing to cut costs but maintain standards. Firms are able to concentrate their resources on increasing fee-earning activities, as outsourcing non-core business processes helps free up a lot of capacity for organisations. In turn, this has allowed many businesses to increase efficiency and profitability, with far fewer in-house employees needed. However, a lack of control over outsourcing processes has ensured a growing market for co-sourcing. Firms are now pursuing innovative processes and technologies that allow them to adapt their business quickly to the changing work levels and constantly evolving business environment they are faced with. To deliver a co-sourced service, the provider will create a dedicated team within their own business to undertake specific activities for a client. This team works as an extension of the firm’s remaining office function with regular contact, rather than as an outsourced substitute. By co-sourcing services, firms have the necessary resources to cope with peaks in demand, without recruiting additional overheads to the pay roll. This delivers a guaranteed minimum service level, and avoids paying for underused employees when the firm experiences a quieter period. The traditional outsourcing model is the mainstay of most service providers’ offerings, but all firms require a level of confidentiality, work tracking and control that has helped shape this new co-sourced solution. Implementing a co-sourcing solution typically involves the service provider sending its staff to the firm’s offices so each member of the team is familiar with the firm’s system and is trained in their unique working methods and business ethos. Firms can now access a range of services beyond simple transcription and copy typing, to include Land Registry searches, file opening, data input, document production along with work in the usual Microsoft Office programmes. The advantages for the firm are numerous and obvious, with paying only for the working time of the team members a major consideration; no holiday, sick days, office chats and coffee breaks to pay for. The steady rise in office rental costs will also lead to many adopting the co-sourcing approach, helping either cut the space required or delaying the inevitable re-location for growing firms. Co-sourcing secretarial support ensures fee-earners have quick and easy access to the services they need in the evening and at weekends, with all the necessary security and confidentiality compliance measures already in place. Choosing ISO 27001 accredited service providers, registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), ensures there are no compliance issues, unlike when meeting a deadline means a member of the office team is tempted to take work home on a memory stick! The use of dedicated co-sourcing teams allows firms to concentrate on growth and prosperity, safe in the knowledge they have the necessary resources available to help deliver the high-quality service demanded by their clients, while driving the efficiencies that help them remain competitive. Maxine Park launched DictateNow with husband Garry to offer an enhanced and efficient transcription resource to businesses in a wide range of sectors including legal, medical, public sector, charity and parliament.
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