By Paula Brazier, Head of Client Experience at Foster Denovo
Servicing clients throughout the pandemic has brought about a number of changes, and when the first national lockdown was announced in March 2020, life as we knew it changed completely.
The transition from working in the office to working from home of course threw up some challenges. But with a robust IT system and tools in place, alongside our existing processes, we were able to adapt quite quickly.
And at the same time we took the opportunity to review our current servicing processes, both for clients and our advisers, and identify any areas that needed work.
Set clear targets
First of all, we thought it necessary to express this in definable terms. Setting clear targets can help you ensure that even when normal order is thrown in the air, you have a set level of service that everyone can work towards – whether they be in the office or at home.
This is why we created our ‘Service Excellence’ charter, designed to uphold our company’s culture and connect with our clients and advisers effectively.
Developing the Charter gave us the opportunity to build on what we had already been doing and align our service delivery and standards, in one place, across the entire organisation.
When implementing any such initiative, the first focus should be on reaching out across the business to ensure you are all on the ‘same page’ when it comes to what best practice should look like.
We have always believed happy employees lead to happy clients. We want our team to feel fulfilled by the work they do and strive to achieve a great experience for our clients as a result. Our recognition as an Investor in People – Gold standard, which we were awarded earlier this year reflects this.
We have always valued open communication and use the feedback we receive both to celebrate our strengths as well as to better our servicing strategy and the culture at Foster Denovo.
When gathering feedback, we ensure that our employees and Partners are given the option to elaborate on their responses and give clear, detailed, constructive feedback rather than simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions.
We believe this is an integral part of how you can make improvements across a business.
Having such a collaborative approach to setting these standards is something we see as particularly important for an adviser business such as our own.
Our teams not only set themselves their own goals based on past performance, but actually challenged themselves on how they can do it better, faster, to a higher standard.
Giving everyone the opportunity to control their own servicing levels rather than imposing it on them has made our teams more committed and above all honest, about what they can deliver.