Efficiency measures to manage client expectations
Written by Priscilla Sinder, Managing Director at Property Conveyancing Consultancy Ltd.
In this short article I will look at two quick efficiency measures that can be implemented with very little cost but can reduce unnecessary calls and emails from clients chasing for their Title Information Documents.
In today’s climate (excluding the hard conditions imposed on the conveyancing industry as a result of the pandemic and subsequent measures to keep the economy afloat) it is so important to pre-empt client expectations knowing they are naturally more demanding and expect their needs to be fulfilled immediately. This behaviour is not necessarily their fault as they have entered society with fast paced technology that has progressed with their demands, and this type of service expectation is reflected in their everyday requirements, which includes using the services of a conveyancer.
Of course, I am generalising here, but I think we are all in agreement, that today’s clientele is much more demanding than they were perhaps even five years ago and thus we must anticipate such demands to avoid expressions of dissatisfaction, which can easily turn into an unwanted complaint. And, although you have turned a complaint into a successful outcome, clients are not forgiving when it comes to post-completion delays where the current timescales of receiving the Title Information Document is somewhat out of your control.
Therefore, there are two very simple measures that can be put into place to manage client expectations after completion.
Firstly, you may wish to consider sending some literature to your clients together with their completion letters informing them of the unprecedented workload that HM Land Registry are experiencing and therefore the expected timescale to receive their Title Information Document is an estimated 2-3 months for standard applications. It is highly possible that HM Land Registry may complete these applications sooner, but providing an exaggerated timescale gives a better chance of achieving the timeframe than not.
Embracing good practice also extends to forewarning clients of delays in all types of transactions, therefore it is imperative to warn clients that it may be over nine months until they hear back from you if they have purchased a new lease, transfer of part or similar transactions. It is your duty as their conveyancer to give them the peace of mind that these timescales are normal in the current climate.
Secondly, managers should also make their teams aware of the Land Registry’s Estimated Completion Date tool that shows a date for each portal-lodged application, updated monthly. By using this management tool effectively, it will reduce client chaser calls/emails. Commissioning the assistance of your IT department to create automatic updates that are sent monthly which ties in with the updates provided by the Estimated Completion Date tool creates a pro-active work ethic in the post-completion department, which will naturally drive the team to be more productive in post-completion formalities.
If this is not possible then knowing that there is an option to give clients live updates is a huge comfort in keeping clients informed, which is a key component to good client care service. As the word suggests it is only an ‘estimated’ date but is certainly what is required in the post-completion department today.
Not only does this tool help with clients it is extremely relevant when updating client lenders, so that they too can manage their workloads from their end.
The above two proposals do not require extra staff costs or new technology to be implemented, all that is required is a standard letter inserted into your case management system for the first initiative and collaboration from your IT department and/or effective management for the second initiative.
Furthermore, the above measures are examples of how good client service extends to all branches in the conveyancing transaction. Good practice is always a symbol of pre-planning and taking a wider perspective to try and avoid the inevitable.
One of the key ingredients to happy conveyancing is communication, regardless of the content clients need to be informed in all aspects of their transaction.
Foreseeing the gaps in service delivery is a good management skill to have, but it is not effective if it is not acted upon. HM Land Registry’s Estimated Completion Date tool is a wonderful tool in managing client expectations and creating productivity in a post-completion department.
About the author
Priscilla Sinder is the founder of Property Conveyancing Consultancy (“PCC”). PCC is a leading and dedicated service provider to the conveyancing industry.
PCC offers a fully UK based outsourced post-completion solution for any sized conveyancing firm and/or department.
Since 2017, PCC has been offering their popular ‘post-completion’ service, which entails submitting applications to HMLR right through to sending Title Information Documents to clients. This service has proven to reduce avoidable requisition rates significantly and successfully eliminates lender chase letters.
As property lawyers themselves PCC have fine-tuned their skillset in ways that organically and uniquely benefit any conveyancing firm/department.