Now I don’t often blow our own trumpet but when someone else does why shouldn’t I broadcast it to the world?
We have just received a case study from our client; law firm Nabarro.
Briefing October 2011 / Case study ComXo Nabarro / Rupert White
Nabarro’s Head of Facilities Russell Stevens on how his firm is delivering better customer service out of hours with ComXo’s Virtual Switchboard
Sometimes what seems like the least important thing in a law firm’s daily grind is the most important thing. But when Nabarro outsourced its out-of-hours switchboard to ComXo, head of facilities Russell Stevens knew that a few late night calls could be far more important than many of the firm’s daytime conversations.
Until December 2010, Nabarro’s after-hours phone calls were taken by security staff in the firm’s London offices – but the problem was that security staff weren’t answering calls with consistent quality. “We don’t get a huge amount of calls out of hours but when we do we obviously want them answered professionally,” Stevens says. He also had another problem to solve at that time – “whether or not there was any value in having a separate security contract, because we’re in a leased building and the landlord has security here already”.
Stevens realised that the firm could save money on reducing or getting rid of the security contract and replacing the ad hoc phone answering it carried out with a professional service. The firm’s then managing partner, Nicky Paradise, had already called for the in-house switchboard staff to be re-located from London to Sheffield, so Stevens’ idea to also switch out the security and have ComXo pick up the evening slack dovetailed perfectly into the plan.
Stevens had been aware of ComXo’s services and spoken to another ComXo client, Farrer & Co, about the service. This tipped the balance – when the firm moved to shift switchboard to Sheffield, he terminated the security contract and brought ComXo in to deal with out-of-hours calls. He reckons the move has saved Nabarro around £50,000 year.
Nabarro chose this outsourcing route to gain better call handling quality, more efficiency and some cost savings – a simple mix, but a potent one.
“The client calls tend to kind of drip feed in after about 7pm, but when they do call after that, it’s generally quite important,” Stevens explains. “We needed to make sure the messages would get through, and the partners who wanted to leave mobile phone numbers and so on could do so – and that the people they’d left them with would be reliable enough to that information. This had been happening, but it wasn’t as good as it could have been.”
The most regular ComXo help covers issues such as taxi bookings for late-night workers, and some client relationships where a lawyer must be provided within a set period – but, he says, “we know ComXo have all that information, and they know what they’ve got to do when they receive that kind of call”.
Management of the arrangement is fairly simple, including giving ComXo a weekly list of leavers and joiners, “so that if a client rings up and asks for someone who’s left, it’s not embarrassing trying to fiddle around trying to get hold of someone who isn’t here”.
Stevens and Nabarro chose to outsource what is a vital client-facing outsourced service, but any fears on that front were allayed because ComXo scores in the highest bracket with the same ‘mystery shopper’ service that Nabarro uses for its own services.
“When we get our report on how our own people have performed, we also get a list of other firms who’ve achieved a certain category – and we could see that ComXo are consistently in the platinum category. That gives us peace of mind,” Stevens says.
“In the time that we’ve been using ComXo I don’t think I’ve received a single complaint, so you know they’ve responded very well to everything that’s been thrown at them.”
Firms are taking on ever more of these outside relationships, and part and parcel of having them is managing them – managing the law firm supply chain. With ComXo, Stevens says, this has been relatively easy.
“The crucial thing is to make sure you’re comfortable that the people you’re going into partnership with have done their due diligence and understand your business. With someone like ComXo, you know they’re working with some large law firms and providing this service to them – they know what they’re doing.”