CUSTOMER STORIES

Helping Lighthouse navigate their multifaceted phone requirements

6 MIN READ
Gary Liu
Gary Liu

Modern businesses have evolved to be customer-centric and multifaceted, maximizing every opportunity to deliver value where they can in a customer’s lifecycle. Lighthouse Financial has built their brand around this exact premise — customers are real people, with real lives and ever-changing needs that require an umbrella of services. What started off as just an accounting firm from Hawke’s Bay has quickly transformed into a multi-disciplined service offering that can accommodate just about every possible life scenario.

Lighthouse Financial Brands
Lighthouse Financial offers a full suite of services

Turning a customer’s transaction into trust and loyalty is not an easy undertaking and often requires a high level of empathy, engagement and foresight. Lighthouse Financial follows the path of a customer’s journey from providing valuable tax guidance to ensuring that one’s will and trust are in good hands. What makes them even more unique is their willingness to incorporate new technology into their value proposition, in an industry often characterized by being “safe” or even “stubborn” (depends on who you talk to).

“To provide simple, effective services that leave our clients with more time to do what they do best.”

A lot can be said about their mission statement as it naturally fits into our own: to connect customers to the right person at the right time — so customers and employees can get on with their days rather than be drowned in a sea of emails and voicemails. So when they agreed to switch their existing phone system over to Cradle, we were excited not only by the opportunity to increase our presence in the Accounting and Financial space, but also to tackle some of their existing communication challenges.

Background‍

Navigator Accounting
Navigator Accounting and Property Tax

Bread and Butter: Lighthouse Financial is an aggregate of four unique financial service providers that specialize in providing personal services, tailored to their clients’ needs.

Operations: They have a growing team based in their native Hawke’s Bay and now Auckland.

Customers: They have thousands of customers throughout NZ.

Phone Setup: They had two landlines that rang two desk phones while the rest of the team used a mobile phone.

Challenge

When we first spoke to Matt on our discovery call, we quickly uncovered a few challenges that neither his existing phone system nor Cradle could solve (at the time). Because there were only two landlines connected to two separate digital handsets, they were limited by the number of calls that could be taken concurrently to just two. The obvious downside to this technological limitation was their inability to provide wide coverage and customer service to both prospects and their existing clients — something that they built their entire business model around. In addition, their existing phone system didn’t allow them to transfer calls internally nor offer a voice menu that could guide the callers to the most appropriate person on the team. And because Matt and other directors were constantly in and out of the office, they were effectively disconnected from any incoming landline calls.

Matt Harris
Matt, Co-Founder and Director

What was the single most important problem that you were looking to solve with a new phone system?

We want our clients to be able to get through to a real person every-time they call and then ideally through to the person they want to speak to.

What was causing this problem that led you to look for an alternative phone system?

Our old phone system only allowed a direct dial into the office. If the person the client was after was not in the office then a message had to be taken and a return call made. This could sometimes be irritating for our clients and meant that a job awaited the staff member upon their return. We also did not have the ability to transfer calls which meant that the phone line could only be used by one person at a time.

Solution (before Enriched Caller ID)

When we went into their office at the Generator back in February, we knew we could drastically improve their existing setup and help improve their customer’s NPS with some of our core features at the time:

  1. Connect every user to both landline numbers which removed the limitation of just two concurrent calls
  2. Assign users to different roles which enabled them to have a unique routing scheme and voice menu for each of their two brands
  3. Get everyone to download the Cradle mobile app so they can take landline calls anywhere (this worked like magic when Matt traveled to the States)

However…

An important feature gap quickly surfaced as we couldn’t display to the user which number (in this case, the associated Lighthouse brand) the caller had called for and which department they had pressed in the voice menu, which meant that the user lacked any useful insight to greet the caller properly. Although we had designed Cradle to accommodate multiple routing schemes for multiple offices earlier on, we hadn’t yet created a mechanism to support a centralized team that could support incoming calls from multiple numbers associated with multiple brands.

Until Enriched Caller ID.

Solution (with Enriched Caller ID)

Enriched Caller ID
You can now see which number and role the caller called for as well as who they normally talk to and whether your colleague is away or busy.

We took a giant step forward in our product roadmap when we released both Enriched Caller ID and Smart Connect back in early June (4 months after Lighthouse started using Cradle, so thank you for being so patient with us!). The incoming call screen now displays all the insight the Lighthouse team needs, including which number and role the caller called for, in order to greet the caller appropriately. In addition, the user can also see who this caller usually speaks to and if they are on another call or away from their desk. And to take things to the next stratosphere, they could also rely on Smart Connect to automatically connect the caller to the person they usually talk to, bypassing the receptionist altogether. Pretty neat, eh?

As a startup, we have come to learn that insight and feedback from our very best customers can be incredibly valuable and can open up our eyes to what people actually have to deal with on a daily basis. Those earlier challenges would eventually become validation of our product’s ability to solve these genuine problems — so our customers can have more time to do what they do best.

How has Cradle helped resolve your challenges? Which feature was key?

Because we can take our Cradle phone system with us everywhere we go, calls can be pushed to us in the office, at a coffee shop or overseas and this means our clients can get through to us more of the time.

What delighted you the most?

Picking up calls transferred to me whilst traveling I was in the US and chatting with clients as if I was in the office.

What are some challenges that have yet to be fixed?

We are still working on getting the best use of the Cradle system using multiple numbers, but overall we feel that it has reduced the number of phone calls to return to clients!
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