What have our clients said about us in 2018?

As another year draws to a close, it’s time to look back and consider how we did against the aims and objectives we set ourselves, and published, this time last year.

So how did we do?

Virtually all our clients will be able to communicate with us through our Treethorpe Case Administration System — our very own and highly secure client relationship management system.

We launched the Client Portal in the February. This allows clients to see how their case is progressing as well as provide a secure method of communication and sharing documents.

Things really took off in the September and we now have over 85 clients actively using the portal. In December we made many enhancements to the service, making it more compatible for view on mobile phones, improving the log-in experiences and adding a secret password to the two factor — authentication process.

We are looking at automating much of the ‘Know Your Customer’ identification and verification process to make things easier and quicker for our clients ahead of funds being dispatched to them.

In March we partnered with Experian to enable us to provide an automated option to our clients to undertake their address and identification verification. This has enabled us to speed up the final, and most important part of our service — getting the funds to our clients — and ensured we can help those clients that do not have the traditional means of ID.

We have engaged the services of ‘Reviews.co.uk’ to obtain independent and validated feedback that can be published and seen on-line.

To date 26 clients have left an independent review using this service. 93% of these gave us a five-star rating. The remaining 7% a four-star one.

The comments added to the ratings have been wonderful to read.

Marta was highly efficient in terms of the process and ongoing communication. I am in Cape Town so the process can be messy, especially with snail mail. The transaction was handled smoothly and I am most grateful for the efficient and respectful service.

I have nothing but praise for Lauren and Treethorpe. Lauren was professional and efficient during the months it took to finalise some shares which had been overlooked after my Father had died. All my numerous questions were answered in a pleasant and knowledgeable manner. I happily paid the fee to Treethorpe after they successfully found the shares and completed the transaction. Thank you again to Lauren and Treethorpe. I thoroughly recommend this company.

I am extremely happy with how efficient Jonathan has been during the distribution of a relative estate. He was understanding and explained the process required and kept me updated with regular emails ( I live in Australia). Jonathan made everything seem easy and straightforward and I am grateful for his kind, easygoing manner. Thank you!

And of course, Richard House children’s hospice, a fantastic charity, benefit too; we donate £25.00 for every 10 reviews posted.

We will continue to develop our letters and literature content to increase the clarity of information. Our new for 2018 ‘What you need to know’ brochure is already available to all our clients via our website.

Our ‘What you need to know brochure’ has been well received by our clients.

In May we engaged @EmphasisWriting, a leading UK business writing training company to help us further develop our written communications.

Our suite of written communication has been significantly revamped as a result.

As 80% of our clients rated our communication as ‘Very Clear’ and a further 19% as Quite Clear’ against 69% and 28% in 2017, it is fair to say we have definitely made significant progress.

We will continue to challenge the excessive fees some custodians charge our clients when we are recovering assets and any past recoverable income on their behalf.

We have continued in our efforts; on occasion we meet with success and on others we don’t.

We will not be complacent and will continue to challenge when it is felt appropriate.

We will continue our efforts in keeping clients better informed of the progress being made on their case.

In cases where the circumstances mean that the timescales drift from the average, we are much better at providing clients with an update to let them know where we are in the process.

The introduction of our Client Portal has also helped with this flow of information.

We will continue to develop how we communicate with clients at the outset and how our company credentials can provide the comfort sometimes required about the genuineness of our approach.

A harder one of measure, our new style of writing has certainly helped here, as has the visual and independent nature of the online reviews through Review.co.uk. Through our questionnaires we know that 58% felt we were ‘extremely responsive’ to their questions and concerns, and 38% ‘very responsive’.

In addition to this is our ongoing and very active involvement with the Association of Probate Researchers (APR). As an association we sponsored, and attended, the National Association of Public Deputies conference in July and our General Manager gave a key note address to the audience on behalf of the APR.

Treethorpe are the headline sponsors of the very first National Paralegal Awards taking place on the 29th March 2019; whilst by no means not the driver for doing so it is something further to help reassure clients that we, and so our service, are genuine.

Our apprentice Elisha has twice been nominated by WhiteHat as ‘Apprentice of the Month’ — something we are immensely proud of — but which also provides further on-line presence that promotes our professionalism.

So, in summary we did pretty well against our own aims and objectives.

Our clients also seem to think so. Of the 233 that returned our Client Evaluation Questionnaires 70% rated our Overall service as ‘Excellent’ and a further 29% evaluated it as ‘Good’.

69% would be ‘Very Likely’ to recommend us if they were asked and on the ‘killer’ question regarding our fees and the value for money represented; 64% felt our service represented ‘Excellent’ Value and 24% ‘Good’ Value.

What’s next?

Not to be complacent that’s for sure. We know there are areas we can develop further, and we will strive to do so.

This year we will continue to develop our written communications and turn our attention to our Fee Agreements and Terms and Conditions.

Our Client Portal will also see further development. More clients than ever have visited our offices, both in Cambridge and in London, to meet with us and we will continue to encourage these visits.

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