Meeting out-of-hours demand: An interview with Nitin Khandhia of BTMK Solicitors

Moneypenny logoBy Legal Futures Associate Moneypenny

For BTMK, a Legal 500 law firm with five offices in Essex and Southend, being contactable on clients’ terms is a critical business priority. As such, 24/7 call handling is central to the firm’s approach to client care and, crucially, allows BTMK to capitalise on increasing out-of-hours demand.

Nitin Khandhia is the Managing Director of BTMK Solicitors, which was cited in the Times 250 Best Law Firms report earlier this year. He said, “When I took over as Managing Director of the firm in 2018, it was clear we needed to prepare for a much more tech-savvy, modern generation of clients.

“Our clients were expecting to contact us outside the traditional 9-5, so we knew we needed to take a fresh approach to the client experience, especially over the phone and on the website. That led us to choose a 24/7 outsourced provider for telephone answering and managed live chat.”

Managing volume

BTMK receives approximately 4000 calls monthly or 200 daily — with most calls focused on conveyancing and private client work.  These matters are often quite technical and sensitive and, as such, can increase call volumes.

Nitin explained: “Having many touch points with our customers is essential.  We find that older clients prefer the phone, while legal services such as our private client offering, which has grown threefold over the last five years, and conveyancing service account for a significant amount of our call volumes.   Attention to detail is very important when handling these calls – as capturing addresses and names accurately is key to expediting matters quickly and making clients feel supported and knowing there’s a human being on the end of the phone to speak to.”

“Understanding clients’ needs and ensuring we’re available on their terms is helpful. Our use of live chat builds on this, as it provides an alternative to the phone and an immediate way to triage enquiries, which is especially useful out of hours.

“Our outsourced partner manages 25-30 live chats daily, answering queries, capturing leads, and signposting people to help. Many of our clients and prospects prefer this because its relative anonymity makes it easier to get to the heart of the matter. In tandem with several other communication channels, these tools give clients all-important choices.”

New clients outside peak hours

BTMK receives a growing number of its daily calls between 6pm and midnight every evening, of which at least 10 to 15 are new enquiries and instructions. Nitin said: “If we weren’t contactable 24/7, we’d lose out on many new business leads, which means lost future revenue and wasted marketing spend.

“Before outsourcing support, we would never have known how many enquiries we were losing because we had no visibility or knowledge of our out-of-hours demand. It’s reassuring to know that even if our office is closed, prospective clients will receive a warm, friendly, and knowledgeable response, just as if one of our team members were handling the call.

“Our outsourced provider has excellent knowledge of the legal services market and captures detailed information from callers to meet our specific needs. Litigation, for example, is a vastly broad area, so we need to ask a series of questions to understand the specifics and identify the right person to whom to pass the enquiry. By contrast, conveyancing is much more straightforward. Capturing enquiry information correctly is important to ensuring an efficient client experience and avoiding unnecessary back and forth between our internal teams. We also ensure all callers are told when to expect a response. Managing expectations makes good business sense.”

Embracing agility

Although BTMK had used outsourced support for several years before the pandemic, that experience helped cement its value and support the continued adoption of agile working.

Nitin said: “Long before the pandemic, we knew that having our people fixed in a particular office and a receptionist in every office was expensive and denied our people the benefits of agile working. Outsourcing helped us move towards more agile habits and, crucially, to be more available for clients. This paid dividends in the pandemic as we already had the systems in place for business as usual.

“Agility certainly helped us through the pandemic, but it’s also crucial to our continued growth. Outsourcing has given us access to third-party call and live chat experts, the best technology, and a scalable solution that can flex as we need. It’s also freed up our in-house team to concentrate on service delivery and client care.

“We only see out-of-hours demand increasing, so It’s important to know that whatever time of day or night we’re needed, BTMK will always be available.”

BTMK Solicitors use leading outsourced communications provider Moneypenny’s fully outsourced, 24/7 telephone answering and managed live chat services.


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