Function: Front Line Customer Management
Goal: To transform a failing operation into a star perfomer
How we helped a leading UK legal firm transform its frontline customer acquisition, retention and revenue function into one of the top performing departments in the business
Balancing Reputation and Profit
Our UK Client, a long-established legal firm in the personal injury claims sector, deploys an internal frontline team to perform front and back office case management activities associated with personal injury compensation claims. The team’s roles include registering and qualifying claimants, liaison with third party organisations such as vehicle repairers and medical specialists and the timely provision of fully qualified compliant claims cases to the firm’s fee-earning solicitors for management through the compensation claims legal process.
Activities performed by the front line team include handling inbound and outbound emails and calls, processing inbound web forms, performing a number of back office functions and case processing activities and managing relationships with and work requirements of external contractors. In a highly competitive sector, the firm’s reputation for integrity and success in winning compensation for its clients is of paramount importance but must be balanced with the need to maintain profitability through efficient claims management processes.
Impending legislative changes were changing the needs of the business in the short to medium term. At the same time, rapid growth in the number of claimants was highlighting weaknesses in both the underlying operational infrastructure and in the operational performance management framework, exposing the firm to increasing levels of risk, cost and lost revenue opportunities.
A high percentage of abandoned calls, backlogs in information gathering and inconsistent claims validation by the frontline were impacting costs and profitability. Claimant referrals from third parties were not being managed effectively and mistrust of the frontline team had taken root amongst the legal specialists and the firm’s third party marketing partners. It was clear that the operational framework had become unstable and the operation was heading out of control.
Steps had been taken to begin to address some of the concerns. The recruitment of additional staff to handle the rising numbers of claims and clear the backlogs had not, however, resolved the problems, leading to the perception of overstaffing and inefficiency. There was insufficient knowledge of where, why and how opportunities were being lost in the short term, whilst the approaching legislative deadline further emphasised the need for the right changes to the operation for success in the long term.
Where To Start
Envisago Consulting first undertook an operational assessment, observing each specialist team in action and interviewing frontline staff, operations managers and key internal and external key stakeholders. We reviewed and analysed available process documentation and performance data and identified the gaps between the frontline team’s practices, approaches and performance and those of high-performing similar centres.
Uncovering significant process and performance management gaps, Envisago made wide-ranging recommendations and developed the roadmap for change, identifying quick wins and the areas requiring further, more detailed assessment necessary as part of a planned change programme. Our Client asked Envisago to help them implement the required changes as they didn’t believe they had the skills in house to do so.
Restoring Performance and Rebuilding Trust
Our client asked Envisago to help them implement the required changes as they didn’t believe they had the skills in house to do so. Prioritising the recommendations for actions to close the gaps, Envisago provided a Remote Support Programme of mentoring, review and feedback to the managers responsible for driving the key changes.
With our help, our client’s team was able to design and implement the necessary changes to the operations and performance management frameworks to secure major performance improvements in the short to medium term and, vitally, establish more robust foundations for the future. We were also asked to develop and deliver high performance training establishing a shared and motivational understanding of high performance drivers and the role of the Team Leader in securing higher levels of performance from their people.
The Change Programme resulted in the frontline operation handling a substantial increase in call volumes without an increase in staffing levels. Our Client observed improved quality and increased claimant and marketing partner satisfaction, whilst the costs associated with claims ‘leakage’ were significantly reduced, impacting profitability. The standing of the frontline team within the business was greatly improved and our Client was delighted to be able to report that stakeholder trust had been restored.
“With Envisago's very active involvement, we achieved enormous progress in all areas of performance, allowing us ultimately to handle customer contact volumes 2 or 3 times as great as when we started with similar staffing levels, much improved quality and significantly higher client and partner satisfaction. Staff engagement and performance is significantly improved and, from being perceived at one point as one of the problem areas in the business, the frontline team is now seen clearly as one of our highest performing.”