How and Why Cooper Parry Outsourced Call Handling
Advisors and accountancy business Cooper Parry prides itself on doing things differently – including its approach to customer care.
Following the redesign of part of the East Midlands office 18 months ago which led to a more open, dynamic and agile space and saw the omission of a formal reception desk, Head of Facilities Jo Giles took the decision to outsource call handling.
She said: “The redesign of our office was a key moment for the business – we’ve always been about doing things differently but the remodel allowed us to make this tangible. Because we want to be open and accessible we decided to remove the traditional reception desk. It felt like a barrier between us and our clients and it diminished the energy within the office. Thinking differently about our environment and how we wanted to use our space prompted us to rethink how some of the bread and butter aspects of our office operates too – including the role of our front of house staff.”
Outsourcing call handling was a key part of that picture – firstly as an overflow service to free front of house staff from fixed desk working, and more recently to help during lockdown.
Jo said: “Like most businesses we had to furlough some of our team at the height of the first wave of the pandemic – several of which were in our Community team, which covers reception and support services. Because of that, we decided to outsource call answering so that a positive customer experience would be maintained. When the first lockdown lifted we intended to bring our calls back in-house, but the feedback from our team about the accuracy of phone messages, friendliness and professionalism of the call handlers prompted us to make it a permanent arrangement. It really worked for our business and is proving essential in supporting the organisation’s agility.”
The freedom of outsourcing has been welcomed too. Jo said: “Outsourcing calls has been quite liberating. It’s freed our team up so they can support the business elsewhere, help with new practices in light of Covid-19 and importantly, take part in training to help upskill the team.”
Initial concerns about call handlers not appearing as part of Cooper Parry’s team were quickly allayed too. Jo said: “We had worried that prospects and clients might feel like their calls weren’t valuable to us if they knew they were being handled off-site, but we’ve worked hard with our partner to make sure their team is an extension of ours. As a result, our callers don’t know the difference and build real rapport with our call handlers. Its’s testament to just how well our partner understands what we expect.”
Once Cooper Parry starts welcoming clients back into the office again, there will be additional benefits for the client experience according to Jo. She said: “We’re all about showcasing our office and we actively encourage clients to make full use of our coworking and meeting spaces and coffee bar. Having a front of house team that’s not tethered to a desk or phone will allow us to really get hold of visitor management and give a much more personal experience to those clients, in whichever space they choose, right from the point of their arrival and without the distraction of a ringing phone.”
Cooper Parry’s telephone answering service is delivered by Moneypenny, the leading outsourced communications provider trusted by the UK’s top accounting firms, including nine of the top 30.