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Innovation Spotlight – a year of collaboration

There’s a huge uplift in innovation during a crisis. 

When there are problems to solve, people pull together to be part of the solution – particularly when times are difficult. It’s when people are at their most creative.

During the 2020 lockdowns, a large portion of Moneypenny clients needed extra help with their communications.

Remote working, furloughed staff, and the sudden take-up of new video software left many unable to effectively speak to their clients, or even their colleagues.

In response, Moneypenny joined forces with like-minded companies, who also have an intense desire to help businesses keep people connected, to ease their communication troubles.

The results were an array of new products to help connect people with businesses, and ease their hectic workloads.

Here is an overview of the wonderful companies we worked with, and some of the innovative things we created together.

Free IVR service for struggling businesses

In 2020, our clients – some of whom were knocked for six during lockdown – told us they needed help. Away from the office and the infrastructure to answer and transfer calls properly, many clients’ receptionists struggled.

Customers were still calling them, but they were unable to handle these calls.

Some companies were coming up with ‘creative’ ways to manage switchboard calls during this time, such as diverting all calls to the director’s mobile and relying on site security to answer the phone.

They desperately needed something to help answer calls.

The solution: Digital Switchboard support for free

We offered our Digital Switchboard service for free to help companies cover their reception teams who were unable to be in the office, and who didn’t have the technology to manage their switchboards remotely, during lockdown.

Powered by Amazon and Twilio technology, Digital Switchboard’s intelligent natural language speech recognition allows callers to self-serve, routing them to the person or department they wish to speak to in an instant, with impressive accuracy levels.

It allowed companies to handle calls and still give good customer service when their traditional set-up failed.

Para-Sols Financial Advisors took up the service due to their staff working from home. Cheryl Lunn, Operations Coordinator, explains:

“The move to remote working, combined with a hike in workload meant that handling incoming calls began to fall to the same people which inevitably took its toll.

“We needed a helping hand with the call levels but we also wanted to make sure they were being handled with an appropriate and consistent level of professionalism, so that employees could concentrate on their role. 

“As Digital Switchboard solution uses voice recognition to transfer them it saves callers valuable time and maintains our commitment to professionalism. Our client experience has improved and internally, we’re really feeling the benefits too.”

Read more about Digital Switchboard.

Teamed-up with a popular video platform

While Zoom may have appeared in all the memes, Microsoft Teams was the real video platform star of the past year.

There are now more than 200 million daily active users, and as of March 2021, it’s clocked-up 2.7 billion meeting minutes.

What’s more, Teams looks like it’s here to stay. 82% of company leaders intend to permit remote working on a permanent basis, and 78% of corporate companies use video calling software for their remote staff to communicate with each other and clients.

Because of the increased use of Teams, our clients and their Moneypenny Receptionists were faced with a broken link in their communications chain.

When a call came in and was answered by the receptionist and the client was already on a Teams call, the receptionist was none the wiser. This didn’t do the caller or the client any favours.

The solution: Integrating Teams with Moneypenny

Sarah Baker, Senior Product Manager for Moneypenny, explains:

“It seems so simple now, but this time last year it was a real game-changer for us and our clients, as Teams was so new to everyone.

“Customer calls were getting lost between the cracks when clients were on a Teams call, so we wanted to smooth out and extend the communications reach past the phone line to Teams itself.

“To achieve this, we integrated our internal call system with Teams, so Moneypenny Receptionists can see their clients’ Teams status and then know to transfer the call if they’re ‘Available’ or take a message if they’re not.

It means that people haven’t had to change their behaviour whilst using a platform they’ve now become accustomed to.

“We already had a Skype for Business integration, but as times changed and more people moved over to Teams, we knew we had to move quickly so our clients could continue to use their company’s chosen systems and still benefit from Moneypenny.

“The successful Teams integration is only the beginning. We are exploring even more features for Teams and Moneypenny in tandem.”

Read more about Microsoft Teams integration.

Created a new team for lead management

We discovered during lockdown that some businesses simply can’t stop. Particularly when it comes to selling houses.

The stamp duty freeze led to many of our estate agent and conveyancing clients being run ragged with work.

The flurry of house-moving interest led to a bottleneck of leads in the early stages of the buying process – they couldn’t sort through the new client leads quickly enough.

The busy estate agents and conveyancers needed a way to help capture their details and pre-qualify them, easing the pressure on their exhausted staff.

The solution: Outbound Calling to move new leads along

We created a brand new team of talented Moneypenny Receptionists to make calls on our clients’ behalf.

To do this, we teamed up with Area and Perfect Portal (lead management software for estate & letting agents and law firms respectively) to give our mutual clients the ability to let the Outbound Calling team handle their leads, just as they would in their own offices.

Our Outbound Calling team calls the people interested in our clients’ services to ask pre-qualifying questions or gather more details.

If they use Area or Perfect Portal, that information can be added straight into those platforms.

Excitingly, the scope for Outbound Calling is far wider than pre-qualifying leads.

The team can tailor the service for whatever our client needs, for instance: appointment bookings, feedback calls, keep-in-touch calls, and data-cleanse to name a few.

Danielle Lanthier, Marketing & Project Manager, Paramount Properties, explains how it helps them prioritise their valuable leads with a ‘traffic light’ system:

“We were spending a lot of time trying to stay on top of incoming leads. It was having a detrimental effect on our customer journey and increased stress levels within the team. 

Now, by the time an applicant reaches our lead management platform, they’ve already been filtered and pre-qualified by the Outbound Calling team. 

“This saves a lot of time as we no longer have to separate out the valuable leads and are much better prepared for the conversation.

“Integrating our Moneypenny service with Area relieves the pressure on our internal team.

“They’ve even introduced a traffic light system that prioritises incoming leads.”

Pritpal Chahal​ Solicitor & Practice Manager, Askews Legal LLP​ explains how the Outbound Calling team warms up leads for the firm to then convert.

“We receive a lot of enquiries each day, particularly for conveyancing. Some calls could take five minutes and others up to an hour, sidelining staffs’ other duties.

“Moneypenny happily stepped in to help, so we now use the Outbound Calling team to qualify our leads – warming them up and passing them back to our team to follow up. 

“In our first month of using the service, we saw an amazing 13% conversion rate of the leads called.

“It has freed up a lot of time for our admin staff, and taken the pressure off following up leads as soon as they come in.”

Learn more about Outbound Calling.

Introduced a new lead gen channel

After seeing the success so many businesses have using Live Chat to increase their new enquiries from their websites, we wanted to explore more channels to help them grow their new business leads even further.

Particularly as customers were wanting to talk to businesses quicker and for longer during lockdown.

We know this from the dramatic increase in Moneypenny call volumes and durations from the tail end of lockdown 2020. People simply wanted to talk to other people.

The solution: Website callback tool

We teamed up with website callback tool, ResponseiQ, combining its callback widget with our Moneypenny Receptionists.

By clicking on the ‘callback’ button, the website visitor can request either an immediate callback, select a time of their choosing.

The ResponseiQ technology is prompted to connect the visitor to the website’s business or a Moneypenny Receptionist at the correct time.

Scott Lee, Founder & CEO, ResponseiQ, explains:

“Our callback technology partnered with Moneypenny’s answering services means businesses can generate more successful conversations from their websites than ever before.”

Read more about the Website Callback tool.

Slicker visitor management

This past year has had a huge impact on businesses’ front of house, possibly permanently.

Some businesses have changed their front of house teams’ roles, others have disbanded with their teams altogether.

However, there is still a need for managing the visitors that those businesses receive, in a professional and efficient way – whilst keeping an all-important human touch.

The solution: video concierge

In what might be a revolution of the front of house, Moneypenny joined forces with Vpod and Proxyclick to create the next step in video concierge and visitor management.

Using Vpod’s Vgreet machine, office and workplace visitors can check-in contactlessly.

Should they need it, there is on-demand video concierge support from Moneypenny Receptionists, giving businesses the ultimate solution in visitor management for a modern and ever-changing world.

It’s packed with clever features such as: contactless check-in, temperature checking, and face & voice recognition for speedy visitor registration.

Read more about  Digital Visitor Management.

Coming very soon…

We’re not ones to rest on our laurels. The Moneypenny team is still hard at work, together with innovative companies, to create new products and improvements to our services, so watch this space.

We give you amazing people and technology:

Telephone
Answering

Your own Moneypenny PA to answer calls exactly as if based in your office.

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Live Chat

Amazing people, briefed by you to manage chats whenever you can't.

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Pocket Phone System

All the functions and support of an office phone system, minus the hardware.

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