Business continuity isn’t just for cyberattacks.  

  • Uncategorized
Business continuity isn’t just for cyberattacks.  

Why being prepared for the day-to-day matters

No company likes surprises (unless, perhaps, it’s a sudden stock price jump). Which is why it’s important to have strong contingency plans for when things go wrong. According to CityAm, cyberattacks on law firms have risen sharply over the last year, and this will likely continue as hackers recognise the potential value of sensitive client data. 

Most law firms have plans in place for worst-case scenarios – a serious client data breach, I.T. system failure, or legal liability. But despite the increase in ransom attacks, these incidents are still (thankfully) not day-to-day occurrences.  

However, business continuity is about more than just being prepared for a rare catastrophe. Threats to the continuity of your business operations are usually much smaller, more frequent, and easier to overlook, but their effects add up over time.  From a sudden bout of winter sickness to a power-cut to something as seemingly innocuous as a fire alarm, there are multiple scenarios that can render a law firm less able to provide seamless customer service for a short period. 

Given that up to 40% of calls to full service law firms are new business enquiries, even short periods of downtime can cost your firm valuable business. Preparing for day-to-day disruption is your best chance of remaining accessible and efficient, both for your existing clients and potential future ones. 

Here’s why being prepared for the little things can make a big difference for your firm. 

Daily disruptions are easy to overlook 

If you asked most partners what their business continuity strategy looks like, chances are their answer would mention cybersecurity, I.T. infrastructure, data recovery, or insurance, and would most likely involve a dedicated working team.

Very few would think about what their firm would do if, for instance, there was a fire alarm in the building. Assuming that the reason for the alarm is somebody burning toast in the office kitchen and not an actual fire, this incident might sound trivial – but there are still business continuity implications to consider.

For example, who is answering your phones in this scenario? Will you be relying on voicemail to pick up any potentially important calls that come in during the half-hour before your teams are allowed back into the building?If so, it might be worth considering if this is the right solution for your firm. According to our research, around 60% of people won’t leave a voicemail if they don’t get through – meaning clients will probably pick up the phone to a competitor instead. The impact is also felt by those employees who are working remotely, where friction and frustration from the disruption can impact their own roles and effectiveness.

And it’s not just fire alarms. Everyday disruption also comes in the form of:

  • Staff sickness
  • Staff holidays
  • Power cuts
  • Travel chaos
  • Flooding and Snow days
  • Facilities incidents
  • Retirement planning

These are the ongoing small-scale challenges faced by facilities managers and front of house teams as they strive to efficiently resource and deliver great service to clients.

A 2023 BBC analysis of National Rail data showed that nearly half of UK train services were delayed or cancelled in the first half of 2023, with cancellation rates as high as 13%. This means the prospect of front of house teams not making it into the office without disruption is on the increase. Firms simply cannot resource their switchboard in person for every fluctuation and unexpected event, so these everyday challenges are becoming a greater drain across the business.

For these scenarios, an external switchboard provider offers protection against downtime on your phone lines, with automatic failover to pick up calls during disruption – which could be the difference between a new client and a missed opportunity.

Hybrid work creates more demand from remote employees

Nobody could have predicted the pandemic. Many companies were able to adapt quickly to the challenges of remote working, but with hybrid working here to stay, companies must consider whether the hybrid policies they implemented during the pandemic are the most efficient ones for the long term.

With more staff working remotely and choosing flexible office hours, there is a greater demand for remote support for employees. To avoid friction, staff should have access to:

  • Resources and documentation
  • Reliable tech support
  • Secure Wi-Fi or server connections
  • Data security training
  • Cybersecurity awareness

One of the benefits of an external switchboard service is that you can minimise the friction of remote working. It’s not just knowing that your phone lines are covered at all times – but also that staff can navigate access to support which can be escalated appropriately and efficiently, that messages are taken and followed up, and that detailed call data is captured so you can plan your hybrid working strategy around your firm’s specific needs.

Accessing your knowledge base

For most law firms, your knowledge base includes client case files, research resources, training materials, contact lists and marketing plans – all the documentation that is essential to the day-to-day and long-term operation of your business. These resources are the beating heart of the firm – without them, it would be simply impossible to conduct business as usual.

A significant part of that knowledge base is the contact information and operational details to keep the firm running.

But if your central contact repository becomes out of date, inaccessible, or the data stored in it becomes compromised, even the most basic of client requests become unmanageable.

However, outsourcing your switchboard to a trusted supplier provides an extra layer of business continuity in the case of disruption. Suppliers such as ComXo will be able to maintain access to all contacts, office connection information and operational resources to allow communication to continue even during emergencies. So you won’t lose any time (or potential new business) due to the disruption.

Maintaining a professional outlook

Even if unforeseen circumstances have affected your ability to carry out certain elements of day-to-day business, it’s important to make sure that customers, suppliers or other parts of the company have confidence in reaching you.

An outsourced switchboard service can be indispensable in this area. With a switchboard outsourcing service like ComXo, you’ll have a team of professional, empathetic call handlers who understand your business, ready to receive 24/7 enquiries, provide updates and information, and reassure your clients.

“More than just call answering, ComXo never miss a call.
They give us peace of mind, if there was a crisis, we know they would be there for us, so the business continuity element is really important.” 
Client Services Manager, Top 50 Law Firm 

Looking for a flexible switchboard solution? Here’s how ComXo can help 

ComXo are industry-leaders in transformational switchboard and business support services, committed to redefining the switchboard for law firms. With a combination of technology and great people, we help you deliver exceptional experiences more flexibly, and maintain peak productivity as you adapt to the challenges of hybrid working. 

Our 24-hour switchboard service keeps you up and running when things don’t go to plan, so you can maintain your professional reputation. Our dynamic workplace helplines allow your team to feel supported and confident, while minimising the business disruption risks of the hybrid world. 

Why not talk to our team about how we can support your firm to ensure you’re always covered? 

Written by
Amanda

How to boost your profits-per-partner

  • Agile Working
  • Company Culture
  • Productivity
How to boost your profits-per-partner

Profits-per-partner is a crucial metric for success for law firms, as an indicator of financial health, profitability, competitiveness and rate of growth. In order to run an efficient and successful legal practice, it’s important that firms have the ability to focus on achieving optimal PPP. But the onset of hybrid working has made this harder than ever. Most workplaces now use an ecosystem of different communication channels – Slack, Teams, Zoom, email, phone – which means that attention is often fragmented and distractions are frequent.

In addition, remote work has fostered an always-available culture, with employees keen to be seen as visible and productive. Which may sound like a galvanising force in terms of output, but in fact may have the opposite effect - eating into personal time and leaving your team feeling overstretched.

So how can your firm avoid the pitfalls and embrace a work culture that contributes positively to PPP? Here are some useful tips.

Minimise distractions

A study by the University of California found that it takes an average of 25 minutes to refocus after an interruption. Even if the time you spend answering emails and jumping on Zooms doesn’t sound huge in terms of minutes and seconds, the cumulative effects of lost focus add up to a significant amount of squandered productivity over time.

Busy offices are prime environments for in-person interruptions (the same study found workers are distracted every eleven minutes on average.) But working from home comes with plenty of familiar distractions as well: the Amazon driver at the door, the noisy neighbour, perhaps even a needy pet. Once the flow is broken, it’s tough to get back to the task at hand. Giving your team the trust and flexibility to decide how and where they work is a good place to start, along with ensuring your office has plenty of quiet areas for disturbance-free work. Making sure you have a culture that allows them to properly manage time helps too. For example, 32% of people have found themselves thinking “this meeting could have been an email”, according to SurveyMonkey.

Using a dedicated team to handle potential interruptions – for example, an outsourced switchboard service to field your calls – is also a great way to ensure that your team is able to operate at maximum concentration. A responsible, empathetic switchboard team can answer all inbound calls on your behalf and filter them according to urgency, keeping distractions to a minimum.

Streamline your tech stack to beat the ‘toggling tax’

Your team will need to use a variety of programs for their work – productivity tools, scheduling apps, research databases, word processors, document management software, and much more. Harvard Business Review notes the adverse effects of the so-called ‘toggling tax’ - the time and mental energy lost to flicking between different tabs and programs. Even a simple task might require visits to a practice management platform like Clio or Denovo, a storage solution like Dropbox or OneDrive, plus a handful of other apps – DocuSign, Outlook, Word – all to complete one small job.

Because the different platforms all have unique user interfaces, purposes and layouts, the cognitive effect can be significant. The Harvard Business Review calls it “context switching”, and notes: “Psychology and neuroscience have shown that…even switching or toggling between two applications increases the brain’s production of cortisol (the primary stress hormone), slows us down, and makes it harder to focus.” There is no easy way around context-switching in a modern office environment. But making sure your practice’s workflows are as efficient and user-friendly as possible – with modern, intuitive software and integrated I.T. systems – can help lessen the stress.

Prioritise ‘useful hours’ over ‘visible hours’

Equity partners have undoubtedly experienced ‘responsibility-creep’ in the last few years. The need to manage costs, hold onto business, hire associates, develop relationships with clients and stakeholders, and generate billable hours increasingly fall under the aegis of the equity partner, as well as the usual responsibilities of counselling, research, and analysis.

Since the pandemic, there is an additional expectation for senior partners to be ‘visible’ – in other words, to be contactable outside office hours. There has been plenty of discussion about the tendency for hybrid working styles to blur the lines between our personal and professional lives, but for senior partners – who are managing a complex, high-pressure, ever-expanding set of responsibilities – it can have a significant impact on productivity. Partner roles are time-consuming and mentally draining; proper downtime must be available to ensure your team are working at maximum ability. Again, a switchboard outsourcing service can be an ally here – you can rest assured that professional, trained representatives for your firm are available for out-of-hours call handling, so your senior partners don’t feel like they’re always on call.

Keep your equity partners focussed on the most profitable work

Gone are the days when legal professionals could rely on access to secretarial staff to help out with admin and errands. Legal secretaries have been declining since 2001, and research for the Law Society suggests between 13,000 and 35,000 legal roles will be lost in the next decade, with legal secretaries being the hardest hit.

With so many software packages and personal devices to help with self-management – from productivity suites to instant communication to the notes and voice-recording functions on our phones – there is arguably less justification to keep extensive secretarial staff on payroll. But every small errand – from picking up lunch to fielding calls to taking down notes – is time that a partner isn’t spending on specialist work. The more time they’re able to allocate for tasks that can’t be delegated, the more value they provide for the firm. This is where a switchboard can really prove useful – you can protect your partners from responsibility-creep. No more fielding cold calls, responding to progress update requests from clients, or following up on voice messages. Your switchboard team can triage inbound calls according to importance, so your partners are always focussed on chargeable work – not admin.

Looking for a switchboard solution? Here’s how ComXo can help

ComXo are industry-leaders in transformational switchboard and business support services, committed to redefining the switchboard for law firms. With a combination of technology and great people, we help you deliver exceptional experiences during every call and communication you receive. Our 24-hour switchboard service lets you filter cold calls, triage calls according to urgency, direct enquiries to the right people or department, and allow partners to focus on what matters – billable work.

Why not talk to our team about how we can support your firm to boost productivity.

Written by
Amanda

How to deliver world-class client experiences

  • Agile Working
  • Client Experience
  • Outsourcing
How to deliver world-class client experiences

According to the Solicitors Regulation Authority there are 9,465 solicitors offices in the UK, of which 71% are incorporated companies or LLPs. The UK legal market is one of the largest in the world, with the majority of prominent global law firms maintaining London offices, alongside prestigious Magic Circle firms.

While there are definitely benefits to being part of an ecosystem of world-class firms – from market stability to regulatory relationships to innovation – it’s undeniable that competition is stiff. Since the rapid digital transformations of the pandemic years, law firms must contend with changing client expectations, the demand for higher productivity and growing competition. In a competitive marketplace, client loyalty isn’t a given – so how can companies make sure clients keep coming back, or better still, that they refer your services to their contacts?

Defining outstanding client experiences

Law firms have a commercial imperative to deliver the best client experience possible. Of course, nobody sets out to provide bad customer experiences – so what are the key factors that define excellent service? How do you make sure you’re keeping clients happy and giving them what they’re looking for?

Here’s a few ways you can be sure you’re delivering the best possible service for your clients.

First impressions matter

Great customer service is all about attention. When new clients walk through the door of your offices, they’re often greeted by a receptionist, and subtly reassured by the professionalism of their surroundings. But how can you replicate that experience in a post-pandemic world, when many first impressions will be via telephone or email? Every point of contact could be your client’s first impression of your practice. You wouldn’t dream of leaving a client waiting in your reception area – nor should they be left on hold for long periods, or being passed around between departments, or having their calls ring out. Attention to every client – whether they contact your business in person, via phone, or by another channel – should be prompt, professional and consistent.

Clear communication

People don’t usually turn to law firms unless they have a problem – something that could be affecting their relationship, their livelihood, their business operations, or even their freedom. Whether your client is a legal department or an individual, it’s important that they receive regular updates, and that any potential issues are flagged in advance. Good business communication is both proactive and reactive, of course – as well as providing updates, you need to be ready to receive and return client calls and emails when they ask for an update. That means ensuring you have enough resource to take calls and return messages. Some legal firms even use outsourced switchboard services to make sure there’s always someone there to pick up the phone, even during busy periods or out of hours.

People value the personal touch

There is a time and a place for self-service portals. Few clients prefer to wait on the phone to find information they could access much more quickly online, or to provide a piece of documentation they could easily upload via your website. In other words, self-service is great for efficiency. But many of your potential clients will be seeking assistance for complex, urgent, or personal matters. Your team must be ready to demonstrate understanding, empathy and professionalism when assisting with difficult cases, and that means ensuring clients can always get through to a real human – someone who can instil a sense of confidence and reassure them of your ongoing support. Leaving them chasing an elusive team member when they need an urgent update is unlikely to leave a favourable impression.

Success can – and should – be measured

When a customer calls you, their experience on the phone can be measured in terms of “call quality”. High-quality calls are polite, professional, prompt, personable, and problem-solving (although every business might have its own KPIs). The quality of calls matters. Historical research suggests that 50% of clients consider “poor communication” a key source of dissatisfaction in their working relationship. Research from the 2019 Legal Trends report bears this out, finding that responsiveness has a “strong impact” on a client’s decision to hire a firm, and that while 79% of clients expect a response within 24 hours, most law firms fall “far below” these expectations. Responsiveness has an impact on a firm’s Net Promoter Score, too. In today’s competitive commercial environment, poor communication standards can easily mean losing a referral, or even a client’s business, to a more attentive competitor.

Your firm can benefit from monitoring the quality of your calls and implementing Service Level Agreements to ensure that customers who try to reach you on the phone always have the best possible experience – getting through to you quickly and receiving a high standard of service when they do.

Setting yourself up for success

Using an outsourced switchboard service to unify communications across your business can benefit you in a number of different ways. From ensuring there’s always a human available when they pick up the phone – even out of hours – to helping you communicate case progress to managing high call-loads professionally and empathetically, the right switchboard solution provides the attention to detail that defines truly outstanding service. In a competitive market – where a missed call could mean another client for your competitor – a central switchboard team that understands your business could be the difference between unsatisfactory and outstanding in your client’s eyes.

How ComXo can help

ComXo are industry-leaders in transformational switchboard and business support services, committed to redefining the switchboard for law firms. With a combination of technology and great people, we aim to help you deliver exceptional experiences during every call and communication you receive. Our 24-hour switchboard service offers industry-leading service-level agreements – 95% of our inbound call traffic is answered within 3 rings. We act as an extension of your team to provide knowledegable, empathetic and professional service from a real human. Ideal for making a perfect first impression.

Talk to our team today about how our specialist service can enhance your client experience.

Written by
Amanda

Why call data should be every legal firm’s secret weapon

  • Data
  • Outsourcing
  • Productivity
Why call data should be every legal firm’s secret weapon

It’s no secret that LegalTech generates a lot of excitement and conversation for law firms looking to gain a commercial edge in a competitive market. By some estimates, as many as 50% of UK law companies are already using some form of AI, according to Oxford University research. But before you start considering swapping out paralegals for ChatGPT, or another ‘silver bullet’ technology, are you confident you’re making the most of your existing tech – like capturing in-bound call data?

If you want to gather more valuable insights, make better-informed strategic decisions and enhance overall customer experience, you definitely shouldn’t overlook the value of a powerful outsourced switchboard service. The right switchboard technology can help your business identify areas for growth, maximise your efficiency, and generate more leads – as well as ensuring a seamless experience for your callers.

Here’s how to use your call data to your advantage and help stand out in a competitive commercial landscape.

Inbound call data helps YOU make better calls

When making decisions for your business, it goes without saying that you want as much information as possible to help decide the right course of action. The more information you have access to, the more you’re able to focus on the important aspects of strategic decision-making – risk assessment, precedent analysis, resource allocation.

Inbound call data tells you more than you might think: where and when do you field most of your new business calls? How do customers and suppliers feel about contacting your office? How productive are your teams in terms of handling inbound calls? How much of your new business comes from cold calls, versus warm leads or referrals? What’s your overall call volume, and are you staffed for out of hours call handling? (Our data shows that 6.7% of calls to legal firms come in outside of standard office hours.) Data drives decisions, so it’s prudent to harness as much of it as possible.

It also makes measuring your marketing much easier

Offline marketing activity can be difficult to measure. But monitoring your inbound calls can help get a better understanding of your campaign’s ROI. By performing conversion tracking and cost analysis on your call data, you can attain a more granular understanding and more control over your marketing activity, letting you fine-tune your marketing for maximum impact and efficiency.

Phone is still the most popular channel for UK consumers

According to Capterra, the majority of UK customers (42%) generally prefer to get in touch with companies by phone. And while that figure is likely to vary across specialised industries, it does underline the fact that most people, when they have a problem that needs solving, want to speak to a real person about it – often urgently.

Calls may be emotionally complex – for example, a call from a potential client who needs to draft a loved one’s will requires a high level of empathy and understanding from the receiver. Giving customers a positive initial impression of your company – including quickly getting through to a real person – is an important first step. Monitoring and analysing how calls come into your business, how well they’re handled, how often they go to the right place, and how satisfied your clients and customers feel afterwards is vital if you’re going to provide continuous improvement to your customer experience metrics. As well as benefitting your business in other ways, such as…

Helping you prepare for busy periods

Unsurprisingly, most businesses want to be sure that they’re allocating their teams correctly, especially during busy periods when finding spare resource can be difficult. And the modern challenges of remote work and hybrid working have added even more complexity to firms’ resource management ability. Analysing call data helps you clearly understand the ebb and flow of your resource requirements. Especially in larger firms, it can be difficult to co-ordinate resource management across departments without having data to describe fluctuations in demand.

The last thing a business wants is to find that the majority of lead-bearing client calls tend to arrive on, for example, a Thursday afternoon during a weekly team meeting, or that a significant portion of calls come in after 6pm on a Friday, when there are fewer staff to help them. Monitoring your call data to find out who contacts you and when will help you know what to expect and how to prepare for the true volume of calls you receive – and helps guarantee a seamless experience for callers.

Allowing you to break down your time more accurately

How much of your firm’s time is spent paying invoices? Or on the phone to suppliers? Or soliciting new business? You may have a time management system in place already, like Clio or ProLaw, but with hybrid offices making things more complicated, it’s helpful to have as much hard data as possible to underwrite the accuracy of your time-tracking. Inbound call data allows you to get clearer breakdowns of how time is being spent across departments. You can use it to get accurate, granular breakdowns of how your teams operate, in order to encourage efficiency and improve overall time management.

Adapting and adjusting your business strategy

Of course, business strategy must adapt to meet changing customer needs, fluctuations in demand, and shifting market conditions. And inbound data provides various valuable indicators that can help inform the best direction for your strategy. For example, call data allows you to monitor the types of enquiry you’re receiving, and in what volume compared to previous quarters. If you need to reallocate resource, make new hires or even make large decisions such as rebranding or developing a new product or service, your call data can provide a useful bellwether for changing customer demand.

Driving change internally

Organisation-wide changes can be hard to implement, especially for larger firms. Since it requires the buy-in of numerous senior stakeholders, it can be difficult for teams to prove the business value of a proposal in a way that gains real traction. Measuring and analysing your call data can help you source the hard data you need to back up your case – making it easier to present findings to senior management.

Staying on top of potential new business leads

Letting phone calls go to voicemail isn’t just bad customer experience – it’s potentially letting new business leads fall through your fingertips at the same time. Even if you’re diligent about returning messages, potential clients have many options available to them and could easily have contacted a competitor before you have the chance to get back to them. With an outsourced switchboard service you can be confident that someone is on hand at all times to field calls, so you never miss a lead.

How ComXo can help

ComXo are industry-leaders in transformational switchboard and business support services, committed to redefining the switchboard for law firms. With a combination of technology and great people, we aim to help you deliver exceptional experiences during every call and communication you receive. We provide innovative 24-hour switchboard services to deliver outstanding customer experience, as well as automatically monitoring inbound call data to generate detailed strategic intelligence for your business. Switchboard data is the key to unlocking continuous improvement across your whole business – from helping you identify efficiencies to boosting new business to analysing customer experience to giving you the data you need to make informed decisions.

Written by
Amanda

Say it with flowers

  • Company Culture
  • Uncategorized
Say it with flowers

ComXo Founder and Managing Director Andrew Try is also Chairman of the Royal Windsor Rose and Horticultural Society, run by a team of passionate volunteers.

The society’s charitable remit is to encourage the enjoyment of gardening, nature, cookery and traditional crafts as a community, and something which Andrew is hugely passionate about. Andrew first got involved with the Royal Windsor Flower Show 13 years ago. Although it was a Royal Show founded by Queen Victoria, the show had fallen on hard times and was in danger of being lost.

Slowly, over the last decade, a committed, passionate and skilful group of local Windsor people have resuscitated the show and have created the best boutique Flower Show in the country. Horticultural guru and RWRHS Honorary President Alan Titchmarsh commented

"What you have witnessed here today is the very best of English tradition, in the heart of Windsor countryside!”

More importantly every penny generated by the Royal Windsor Flower Show feeds into the Royal Windsor Rose and Horticultural Society’s charitable fund that works with homeless charity Centrepoint, to springboard young disenfranchised people into the gardening and landscaping industries. The society also supports the schools gardening initiative.

This year ComXo proudly sponsored The King’s Garden, the great showpiece maze at the centre of the event. The garden was designed and produced by Chelsea Flower Show legends Alan Williams and Mark Gregory, and reflects our new King’s passions and celebrate this new Carolean age.

The tale of the show’s revival, its hard-won success and its focus on sustainability, the circular economy, and as a charity that is changing people lives, aligns perfectly with ComXo’s values.

Andrew says of the show's success:

"ComXo are proud to support an event which has been reinvigorated and with the investment of time, money and passion, helped to create a show with purpose and in doing so changed lives for the better in our community."

Why is sponsorship of the Kings Garden so important to ComXo?

  • We’re passionate about actively supporting our local communities with virtuous circles
  • The funds raised from the show’s success enable the Royal Windsor Rose and Horticultural Society to provide charitable support to others.
  • It brings together people with a shared love of nature.
  • This year’s ‘Kings Garden’ designed by award winning Alan Williams of Landform UK, is a glorious celebration of our new King and his love of the environment.
  • The garden design uses recycled and sustainable materials which aligns with our own commitment to looking after our planet.

The show took place in Windsor Great Park where ComXo guests and some of our team celebrated in a shared love of all things community and gardening.

Written by
Amanda

How Data is Disrupting the Legal Industry

  • Agile Working
  • Client Experience
  • Company Culture
  • Productivity
  • The Office
How Data is Disrupting the Legal Industry

ComXo were joined by five legal tech experts from various technology providers in a virtual roundtable discussion, moderated by Andrew Lewis, Head of New Business at CTS. The discussion's aim was to examine the importance of data and analytics in the legal sector, as well as how law firms should use them to overcome sector-specific challenges and gain a competitive advantage.

Participants in this roundtable discussed data and legal analytics, law firms and new technology, client service, and the current hot topic in every industry: AI and ChatGPT.

In this roundtable, Andrew Try was accompanied by:

  • Ivan Packer, Consultant, Agilico
  • Rob Lawson, Strategic Sales Manager, Perfect Portal
  • Graham Moore, Founder & Managing Director, Katchr
  • Andy Lewis, Head of New Business, CTS
Disrutpion-in-the-legal-industry-cover

How is data disrupting the Legal Industry?

Complete your details below to download our free e-book.

Written by
Amanda

National Telephonists' Day 2023

  • Company Culture
  • The Office
National Telephonists' Day 2023

National Telephonists' Day is a celebration of people who keep the business world running behind the scenes.

Whilst we all are familiar with the frustrations of some call centres, the function they perform has become indispensable to our everyday lives. At ComXo we provide a range of services that support and enable some of the largest businesses on the planet. These huge enterprises are re-imagining their world of work driven by the cultural change experienced since the pandemic, and the underlying push to drive down corporate carbon footprints of commuting, office space and business travel.

Much of this transformation is being driven using technology, process and people to centralise, optimise and virtualise workplace services, making them self-serve, on-demand and curated. A huge part of this work is facilitated by telephonists working around the clock. Every telephone call into a business may now need:

  • Transferring to a home office
  • Coordinated desk booking and management
  • Employee wellbeing support
  • Complex escalation during incidents
  • IT or facilities help whilst on the move.

In today's world the corporate telephonist is not sitting plugged into an old-style switch-in head office, but instead integrated into Microsoft Teams, Zoom or corporate telephony and can be located anywhere in the world. They sit over existing corporate systems such as Condeco or Service Now to qualify and prioritise help desk incidents and service requests, and manage them in a way that drives outcomes in an efficient and instant manner. The world of work has become something that needs to be instantly available wherever and whenever - we require it like a utility. The experts that enable this to happen are the telephonists.

ComXo is a boutique operator in the world of workplace services and whilst we build and use the latest in technology and AI, we realise that the human interface of the telephonist is what adds real value to the daily workflows of our customers. We are more than just switchboard.

We celebrate the telephonists because they are what make our business successful and interesting. The ComXo values of the 4 P's Politeness, Professionalism, Proficiency and Personality and all human qualities that sit at the core of our culture and make us the amazing and enjoyable business we are.

On National Telephonists Day, we took the time out to treat the team to massages, a special barista drinks experience, sweet station and importantly, to share messages of thanks from clients that really show the value and impact of their work.

We thank our telephonists, celebrate them, and salute them. Happy National Telephonists Day!

Written by
Amanda

Ask Andrew: The forecast for 2023

  • Agile Working
  • Business Continuity
  • Company Culture
  • Productivity
  • The Office
Ask Andrew: The forecast for 2023

As we settle back into the office, we asked CEO Andrew Try to reflect on 2022 and talk us through predictions for the year ahead.

2022 can be best described as a discombobulation. So much of what we all considered normal was already out of kilter, and whilst this time last year I expected it to be a year of returning to norms, I think few predicted the rollercoaster of influences that affected work, personal, national and international sentiment.

As a business owner and manager, trying to forecast and predict in normal circumstances is hard and through 2022 it was harder still. However, sticking to key strategic anchors of creative, energetic people with a passion for being the best, challenging the status quo and building a better future' served us well at ComXo.

Here are my top 3 headwinds that we navigated as a business last year:

  1. Staff wellbeing

With a workforce that is fully hybrid, the business focus was to support the physical and mental health of our entire team, including those we could no longer see. ComXo is a boutique specialist delivering high service levels and market leading innovation, and for this a strong culture is required. Investment went into flexible shift patterns, "come into the office" events, wellbeing packages, parties , training and development, video team culture, resident mental health practitioners, and my weekly CEO video check in.

2. Change in workforce and workplace utilisation for clients.

As a workplace service partner to some of the largest professional service firms in the world, 2022 was uniquely challenging. The WFH (Work from Home) to WFO (Work from Office) ratio was difficult to forecast as "new normal" working practices evolved rapidly throughout the year. The spring saw the rebound from Covid and lockdown and war in Ukraine. The summer had the extra Jubilee bank holiday and 40C temperatures. In Autumn we mourned the death of the Queen, whilst numerous prime ministers came and went. Finally, Christmas was marred by strikes. How could we forecast this, and what normal would look like?

3. Inflationary forces, cost of living and the focus on value delivery.

Retaining and incentivising our dedicated and experienced teams has been essential. Searching for more value for customers as prices had to go up was, and remains, our focus. We have been helped by a tight labour market making customers look to outsource as an answer to their own staff troubles, but most importantly it's our continued effort to make ComXo a great place to work. We delivered 9 new team induction groups last year compared to an average of 5 per year, and our staff turnover is around 10% less than industry average which I'm very proud of.

This year what are my predictions?

It is impossible to second guess the macro except to say that complexity, global shock, fast moving trends and fluidity will continue to dominate. The companies that have the most flexible structures and elastic outlooks will benefit; those trying to hang on to the past will not. As the saying goes "When the big waves rain down upon you, the person who's smiling is the surfer!".

From the ComXo standpoint, creating flexible workplace and workforce environments is about the ability to "Centralise, Optimise and Virtualise". Central, virtualised services sitting on digital platforms, enabling AI and delivering data driven insight saves lots of money, increases workforce productivity and transforms client experience. As a business that thrives on managing complex challenges and streamlining them for a great result, we will continue to facilitate our customers on this journey, whatever 2023 and beyond throws at us.

Andrew Try, Founder & Managing Director

Written by
Amanda

Ask Andrew: Investing in innovation during uncertain times

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  • Client Experience
  • Company Culture
  • Productivity
  • Solution
  • The Office
Ask Andrew: Investing in innovation during uncertain times

Andrew Try, Managing Director of ComXo talks about how technology can help through uncertain times.

What is the future of the workplace over the next 5 years? When so much big change is happening in the world and influences such as environment, war, economy and COVID, this is a difficult question to predict. However, there are certain companies who are pioneering people, process and technology that are sign posting where the market is heading.

Technology is an obvious enabler, however poor adoption or platforms that do not achieve traction cause huge friction in organisations and user frustrations cause productivity to drop with time and money wasted.

At ComXo a combination of software platforms, re-engineered processes and the expertise of virtual teams are combined to provide personalized business support services 24 hours a day which support technology adoption and drives productivity and return on investment.

The ComXo mantra of "centralise, optimise and virtualise" your business support services cuts costs typically by 30% and transforms client experience which drives revenue and profitability.

At the heart of these virtualised services, used by 9 of the top 20 law firms and the likes of PWC is the ComXo Gateway.

The Gateway is an client branded app available from the app store that gives a workforce access to client specific services, information and workflows available as a combination of self-serve and as a managed service.

The outcome is that any member of staff at any time can access their organisation business support services to reserve a resource, register a request, use a service or find out information. The apps are branded, personalised and self-serve, however in the event that the user cannot get something done instant access to an expert (who knows who the user is and where they are) can pick up the request and complete it for the user.

This 'Self-serve' as a managed service drives 100% outcomes and enables large complex business to deliver an on-demand culture that enhances workforce satisfaction.

The reporting that accompanies the functions allow super users access to dash-boards that return real time information on services such as space utilisation, ground transport use, help desk tickets and new business enquiries through switchboard.

The Business Services App is able to changed and adapted in real time such that new work flows or reaction to a crisis or event can be delivered into the user interface instantly making it perfect for business continuity or highly bespoke set piece occasions.

ComXo integrate into 3rd party software and API to enable easy outsourcing and virtualisation of existing services such as IT and Facilities Help Desk, Meeting Room booking, desk management, ground transport, concierge service, switchboard and business continuity management.

ComXo's Business Services Mobile App is a client branded "Super App" that combines Software as a Service capability with an on-demand 'expert layer' that enables any user to get things done without fuss or friction.

Book a demo with our consultants today.

Andrew Try, Founder & Managing Director

Written by
Amanda

Are legal chat bots ready to chat?

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  • Business Continuity
  • Client Experience
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  • Productivity
  • The Office
  • Virtual Meetings
Are legal chat bots ready to chat?

With talk of "post-pandemic challenges" now feeling passé , and businesses re-focusing on the longer term future, legal firms are looking to build efficiencies into sustainable hybrid work processes, and ways to further enhance and develop their client experience for competitive advantage.

The use of "lawtech" including AI and chatbots has been hyped over recent years as the solution to all problems, with chatbots in particular seen as the "quick fix, easy to scale, friendly face of Artificial Intelligence".

Some predictions have estimated that more than 85% of customer interactions will NOT include a human being in the legal sector. But we ask the question:

"Are you ready to hand over your valued customers to a client experience which is totally hands-off?"

Are legal chatbots ready to chat e-book cover

Are you ready to hand over your valued customers to a client experience which is totally hands-off?

This insight, written by conversational intelligence expert Andrew Moorhouse, takes a look at balancing the risk of losing human interaction, alongside the reward of combining better tech and processes for a highly personalised managed service.

In this insight you'll find:

  • Insights from over 10,000 conversations across sectors
  • Analysis of call volumes and qualified leads for the legal sector
  • How to balance risk and reward when introducing AI technology
Written by
Amanda