How Should the Accountancy, Law, and Property Sectors Approach Changes in Tech?
Although greater integration of technology into the accountancy, legal, and property industries has been happening for years – the pandemic has served as a catalyst to supercharge changes that were already in motion.
The world has changed – we’re working differently and consumers are sourcing and obtaining legal or financial services differently and researching, buying and selling property differently.
Firms and businesses must now embrace new technologies to facilitate team collaboration, continue to deliver great client experience and futureproof their success in a post-Covid society.
Leading outsourced communications company, Moneypenny handles 2 million property calls and live chats each year for 16,000 property professionals, calls and live chats for more than 1,000 legal firms and hundreds of accountancy firms across the UK. Today, the company employs 1,000 people globally and handles 20 million customer communications each year thanks to the blend of people and technology-based communications solutions.
Here, Moneypenny’s Chief Technology Officer, Pete Hanlon, shares the company’s tips to enable property, legal, and financial leaders to get the most out of disruptive technology:
Think long term
Most property leaders, directors, and partners are aware of their direction of travel and how technology will impact them but they put too much focus on short term results. Organisations that fail to either recognise or adapt to new technologies will face stunted growth and even worse, the mistake could lead to damaged reputation which can be hard to come back from.
Ensure the right culture
Make sure your company’s leadership, purpose and vision are set up to deal with a future of disruptive technologies. As the last year has shown agility and flexibility in business are key, so it’s a good time to revisit your leadership team. Are directors and managers equipped to harness the opportunities? Can they challenge the status quo and make bold decisions and are you brave enough as a leader to listen to them?
Embrace emerging technology at the right time
Disruptive technologies don’t just happen overnight. It pays to be ahead of the curve particularly in such a competitive marketplace, which means taking an active and ongoing interest in emerging technologies and their business applications. Try to embrace the technology before it becomes truly disruptive – timing is everything.
Sit in your clients’ shoes
Put the client at the heart of all your decision making and think about how technology could enable you to deliver better service. New technologies can allow property businesses to cater to and even predict client needs, as well as improve their experiences and your ability to compete.
During the first lockdown, a lot of companies struggled to divert their phones and didn’t have the right tech to manage their outsourced communications. One large business we dealt with had a receptionist travelling to the office each day to listen to the telephone answering machine, while another had one work mobile which was driven between different team members on a rota system. All of this showed a lack of client understanding and compromised their experience.
Be ahead of the game
Look out for tech that will be big in the future. We already provided live chat solutions for hundreds of firms, estate agents and housebuilders before the pandemic, for example, but the use of the technology has been accelerated. Agents are able to handle 10 times more customer live chats in the time it takes for one phone call, so it’s a much more efficient channel and has been instrumental in supporting businesses with the spike in activity have experienced throughout the pandemic.
Promote learning and development
It’s all very well having the tech, but your team has to be adequately trained to ensure they’re confident to use it, and that you’re getting the maximum return on investment. Hold regular training and refresher sessions and encourage staff to ask questions. Keep innovating but ensure your workforce is given the bandwidth and the ability to think ahead with new ideas.
The finance, legal, and property sectors have had to embrace new technology quicker than ever in the last 12 months. This forcing of their hands will not only lead to wider adoption and acceptance but new technology developments – all with the potential to transform how the industry operates. It’s been a turbulent year, but with an open mind and a willingness to evolve, the future is very bright for property post-pandemic – whenever that may be.