Richard Greer, contact centre manager
The Lawyer Management: Colemans-ctts
29 October 2012 | By Lucy Burton
Richard Greer has been the contact centre manager at Manchester-headquarted Colemans-ctts for 13 months. He is responsible for handling the initial stages of client -contact, and joined from outsourcing provider Arvato, where he was head of operations.
What are the key elements of your role
I handle the initial stages of client contact across the firm, both business-to-business and business-to-consumer. This means my team and I sell Colemans’ services to potential clients, take initial statements, put funding in place, issue the letter of claim and manage client cases up to the point of liability admission/denial. We then hand over to one of our fee-earning teams. The aim is to do this efficiently while providing an outstanding client experience.
How has your role changed during your time at the firm?
There’s a more intense focus on customer service, driven by an increase in clients and their expectations. The continuing shift to the internet as a main resource for finding legal services has changed service expectations - wanting the service now and, often, for free.
What significant external issues are impacting on your role?
Probably the changing landscape of acquiring new clients. Firms are looking to have their house in order before the new legal reforms bite, and clients are shopping round, speaking to more than one provider. Quick response and retention continues to be key.
What impact are the structural changes to the UK legal market having on your firm and role?
The upcoming changes have led us to carry out root-and-branch reviews of the client journey, making that experience quicker, less stressful and, hopefully, more satisfying. There’s also the challenge of developing models to provide our B2B clients with new opportunities in the modern legal landscape post-Jackson/LASPO.
What’s in your in tray?
Streamlining and improving automation of work for the conveyancing department, introducing a firm-wide knowledge tool to document and share ‘how tos’ held by the Colemans team, and stepping up a gear with the file review process to meet the demands of the new legal services landscape.
What was the most pressing item you faced relating to the operational side of the firm last year and how did you resolve it?
For the contact centre the most pressing objective last year was to streamline our processes and reduce our cost per lead. This was achieved by removing duplication in the operations process, grouping work items to improve efficiency, and planning workflows to ensure each contact with the client progresses the case to the maximum.
Briefly describe the management structure of your organisation:
There is a central team made up of managers, directors, executive and finance committees, overseen by the senior founding partner and the managing partner.
Who is in your core team?
The contact centre consists of 20 staff – myself, 17 agents and two initial response managers.
What are your team’s core responsibilities?
The team is the first point of contact. Our role is to initiate the start of case before handing over to the appropriate team, freeing up lawyers to deal with legal matters. The main indicators of success for my team are case duration, client attrition and cost to acquire/handle.
Who do you report to?
Janet Tilly, managing partner.
What problem would you most like technology to solve?
Getting the marketing department off my back during campaigns – if only it could.
The most important lesson this role has taught him, says Greer, is don’t judge a book by its cover. “Coming from outside of the industry there’s the impression of law firms being old-fashioned and resistant to change, but I was surprised how much the firm embraces commercial process and operational effectiveness. It’s exciting to see the level of innovation and creativity. Compared to the industry I’ve come from I’ve really noticed that long-term planning and clear mission statements are an advantage.”
CRM and case management: Proclaim
PMS: currently implementing SOS