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McCarthy Durie Lawyers (MDL) is an Australian law firm with 70 employees that offers a range of legal services via its two Brisbane offices. In 2020, MDL’s reputation for fast and reliable customer service came under threat when its patchwork of communication systems led to the phone system being down a total of one day per month. This saw clients look elsewhere for legal advice.
Reversing negative customer sentiment and the loss of business resulting from gaps in its communication system.
Enabling hybrid work arrangements for staff in a way that balances staff productivity and wellbeing.
Remaining compliant and avoiding security concerns pertaining to clients’ personal information.
The removal of issues with the previous system, including down time with its
phone system. The reduced number of internal calls has increased both service
availability and spend per client.
A boosting of staff morale and productivity during hybrid work arrangements. Employees no longer feel compelled to chew into their personal time to make up the hours lost to technical shortcomings, which has seen attrition rates fall to a record low.
Safeguards against compliance breaches, with the trading of sensitive client information occurring within a protected environment.
Avaya Cloud Office® by RingCentral
To remedy service availability and enable hybrid work arrangements in a way that balanced staff productivity and wellbeing, MDL rolled out the cloudbased Avaya Cloud Office platform, giving staff access to ‘office in a pocket’ capabilities across locations. Since the rollout, MDL has reported improved staff productivity, collaboration and retention; positive customer sentiment; and has achieved the highest level of compliance. Access to a centralised communication system has also given MDL the confidence to recruit and onboard talent outside its geographical location, and to bring city-quality legal expertise to regional communities around Queensland.
Founded in 1978, MDL is a law firm that offers legal services spanning conveyancing, property, commercial and litigation. In 2020, the organisation’s strong reputation for quickly resolving clients’ issues came under threat when its patchwork of communication systems led to the phone systems being down a total of one day per month. The team would revert to unsophisticated workarounds, which saw a lot of calls die or not go anywhere, resulting in lost business.
MDL also wanted to reverse the trend of staff working in their personal time to compensate for technical shortcomings.
Avaya Cloud Office enables us to provide depth of expertise to clients no matter where they are, so those companies and individuals aren’t limited to the services of smaller law firms physical near them. Whenever the staff in these regions require expertise or resources to handle additional cases, we can collaborate and share the load across the business.”
— Shane McCarthy, CEO, MDL
The need to remedy service availability, along with enabling hybrid work arrangements in a way that balanced staff productivity and wellbeing, was MDL’s catalyst for a change. The organisation also wanted to ensure the highest levels of compliance when handling sensitive information, and to maintain service continuity in the event of people leaving the business.
To achieve these outcomes, MDL worked with Avaya to roll out the cloudbased Avaya Cloud Office platform, giving staff access to ‘office in a pocket’ capabilities, so they can call, message, meet and video conference within one environment and across physical locations.
CEO of MDL Shane McCarthy reports that staff productivity has already improved significantly, reversing negative customer sentiment.
“Since the roll out of Avaya Cloud Office, our lawyers have been much more productive and collaborative. They no longer feel compelled to chew into their personal time to make up the hours lost to technical shortcomings, and can better work in a way that suits their life,” he said. “The issues with the previous system are gone, and we no longer experience down time with our phone systems.”
McCarthy continued that staff have fully taken advantage of the messaging and video-calling functions to support each other with day-to-day activities.
“This has boosted morale and increased service availability, because the reduced number of internal calls means clients can get through to our staff much quicker. Since the start of our transformation, the improved quality of work life has seen our staff attrition rate fall to a record low, and our spend per client increase in tandem.”
People across the state expect and deserve a Brisbane-quality law firm, which means they have to spend time and money traveling to the city for meetings.”
— Shane McCarthy, CEO, MDL
McCarthy also said Avaya Cloud Office helps the law firm remain compliant and avoid security concerns pertaining to clients’ personal information, as well as ensuring continuity of service should there be unforeseen disruptions or team members leave the company.
“We’ve seen great adoption of the chat function, and are very comfortable that it’s happening through an approved platform. Employees aren’t tempted to resort to consumer apps like iMessage, WhatsApp and other third-party tools, ensuring sensitive client information remains within a protected environment to prevent any intended or unintended compliance breaches,” he said.
“We’ve also got assurance when it comes to the continuity of services. For example, when an employee who has been using their own device for client communication departs from MDL, there’s a risk they’ll take the clients and sensitive information with them. With this contained within the Avaya Cloud Office app, an appropriate fence is put around the information and we can maintain continuity of the client relationship.”
Looking ahead, McCarthy said access to a reliable, centralised communication system has given MDL the confidence to recruit staff outside its geographical location. The organisation has adopted a ‘recruit west’ policy to bring talent into the organisation outside the east coast of Australia, a crucial consideration in the current climate of skills shortages.
“With the new platform, staff can also train themselves from their personal devices, which is important as we don’t always have the resources to allocate to training.”
Avaya Cloud Office will also play a part in MDL bringing city-quality legal expertise to regional communities around Queensland.
McCarthy Durie Lawyers is a full-service law firm that has provided comprehensive legal services to Brisbane and its surrounding suburbs for more than 30 years. The team has provided legal experience for clients in industries such as transport, finance, property development, mining, manufacturing, import and export and medical services.