In this weeks Leading the Way blog, we celebrate reaching a milestone of 50 blogs and reflect on some of the successes and statistics that have been seen throughout Bristow & Sutor since we launched the series back in May 2020.
Number of visits made: 288,036
Unsurprisingly, the Taking Control of Goods and Certification of Enforcement Agents (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020, laid before parliament soon after our blog began taking shape, directly impacted every Civil Enforcement agency. Many important subjects needed to be addressed through our communications channels in light of this unprecedented shift to how we all worked and lived.
All of our furloughed EA staff continued to receive training and certification throughout the summer months and we tried to keep them on the pulse of what conversations the industry was having so they were ready to work again with optimal knowledge as soon as visits were permitted. When a return to enforcement became viable at the end of August 2020, safety remained our number one priority and we ensured conversations were sparked on aspects such as the essential training to use PPE, which was mandatory before anyone could conduct a visit.
Amount collected: £41.53m
Our response to COVID-19 was agile and flexible, without making sweeping changes to the way we work and this was reflected in our blog activity. We began to consider positive outcomes that could be achieved and how services would need to continue to be flexible and adaptable as time progressed.
We were pleased to cover the findings of our agents after they began collecting again and ensured we provided insightful answers wherever we could on common FAQs, such as how court proceedings were going to work and more recently remaining vigilant to societal changes and trends. Whilst it has been a tough time across many industries, including our own, we have been proud to share how we have managed to continue succeeding on behalf of our clients.
Beyond COVID, we had lots of great things to shout about too. The business has achieved many significant contacts all over the country, including being selected for the provisions of services by Transport for London (TfL). We have heard from new key members of staff in areas such as solutions and customer welfare, as well as regularly sharing some ongoing insight from long serving members of the team across the business, covering topics such as typical enforcement requirements, what it is like to work in collections, the success of women in our industry, the importance of health & safety, and the focus we place on mental health and wellbeing.
Litres of hand gel used: 215
It was encouraging to be able to share testimonials on our blog from clients who recognised the measure we were taking and the benefit of resuming enforcement activity. Our commitment to providing to being responsible not only means adapting to new ways of working however and has also been seen in the tasks we have undertaken as a team. It has been a pleasure to provide coverage on our blog on topics such as our efforts to support Debt Awareness Week, donations we made of PPE to debt advice providers, donations to charity over the Christmas period and the support channels we have devised internally for members of staff; as well as the plans we have to continue improving in future and embrace the voices of our employees.
Inbound calls received: 305,584. Outbound calls made: 132,488
Thanks to our ongoing investment in innovative technology systems and software development, we were prepared to remain operational and contactable with minimal disruption to customer service throughout the coronavirus crisis. Habits, expectations and behaviours can exist for years but also change in a very short space of time, so an important part of our blog activity has been reminding people of the rules that still apply and the importance of getting in contact with us early.
We used our blog as a way to shine a light on some of our staff going above and beyond through the national lockdowns and to make positive announcements when we identified opportunities to recruit and grow and achieved industry-leading certifications to inspire confidence and engagement. We have also continued achieving in other spaces and been able to make some announcements to be proud of, such as achieving FORS Silver accreditation, implementing ongoing training initiatives and a Silver Award at DXA’20, UK Digital Experience Awards.
Number of facemasks used: 1496
The blog has also been utilised as a way of communicating the latest Bristow & Sutor safe working procedures which have been essential to facilitating ongoing confidence as well as releasing helpful guides and animations. Being able to visit properties by practising social distancing was essential to us continuing to identify and refer people in vulnerable circumstances. The fair treatment and support of the vulnerable is embedded into the Bristow & Sutor company culture and this has helped us share helpful information on our increased social responsibility drive, collaborative training to the debt advice sector and new requirements such as the upcoming Breathing Space scheme.
WhatsApp messages exchanged: 911,109. Number of Webchats: 77,815
Alerting the public that we had begun facilitating meaningful and informative conversations via message-based conversations was a highlight as technological innovation and digital transformation remains imperative to our business. We have been able to discuss this at length on posts covering aspects such as behavioural science, investment in route optimisation and implementing chatbots.
We have launched multiple webinars and reviewed their impact on our blog, as well as sharing survey results and using the platform as a way of enabling internal and external conversations around improvement and change.
It has been an eventful series so far, but this is all just the beginning! We are delighted to reveal that the success of our Leading the Way initiative is set to see the campaign expand across new channels and platforms, providing even more opportunities for Bristow & Sutor and its people to be seen and heard, sharing their expertise with customers, the wider enforcement community and the public. More exciting news will be shared on this development soon…
As we begin to prepare for Blog 51 and beyond, we will continue to celebrate our achievements, discuss important industry topics and maintain our ethos of being Cool, Calm and Collected.