26 Oct 2020
New flexibility over service delivery is being created by staff switching to home working during the coronavirus crisis, says Startline Motor Finance.
The company says that it has especially become possible to offer a more comprehensive service out of normal office hours because greater shift elasticity is possible.
CEO Paul Burgess explained: “We offer support to existing customers, applicants and introducers such as dealers from 8am to 8pm. This is satisfied with a three shift system that has worked well in the past but hasn’t necessarily fitted exactly with the peaks and troughs in calls and e-mails that we anticipate during the day.
“However, now having the vast majority of our staff based at home rather than the office provides a higher degree of potential control over how those shifts are structured and we are finding that we have been able to fit them much more closely to demand.
“Also, it creates further productivity gains for the morning shift when they come to dealing with incoming calls and messages that have been raised online overnight because a higher percentage of queries have been answered in real time.
“All of this is good for people contacting Startline but also good for staff, many of whom are looking for additional flexibility around their working day while they are home-based. It’s an all-round win.”
Paul said that the enhancements in service levels being made were important because speed of response was very often the key factor in a motor finance deal being completed.
“We know that approving a motor finance application in the fastest time possible is a crucial point for potential customers and having people available to look at slightly more complex cases during the evening to make those decisions has genuine value in this sense.”
Paul added that Startline had been giving a lot of thought to the needs of staff who looked as though they would be continuing to home work for the foreseeable future.
“Especially because it looks as though lockdown measures could be increasing, we’re very aware that staff could feel stuck at home through what could become a tough winter.
“We’ve done two things over the last few weeks that are designed to help. The first is a material one. Everyone at Startline has been given an amount to spend on something that will improve their home working experience, be it a chair, improved wi-fi, a coffee machine or whatever. Our thinking here is that small changes can make a big difference.
“The second is simply to encourage people within the business to be kind. Our working culture is already good, we believe, but we are asking everyone to find that extra layer of gentleness or moment of understanding when dealing with colleagues and customers because we believe these things will really count over the next few months.”