Well, unlike so many other industries, COVID certainly didn’t slow us down for very long. I think it’s safe to say that we’re back to business as usual, with the usual being busy!
With this in mind, in recent months we’ve turned our focus to efficiencies. Making sure we can grab each hour of the day with both hands and get the most out of every one of them.
Being a team of paraplanners, the focus of the day will, and always has been writing reports. So, of course we decided to do what all writers have done at one stage in their career and rip that sucker up and start again. Seriously, we dissected every paragraph of our current Word reports and asked ourselves “is that really needed?” and “is it adding any value to the client?”.
I’ll be honest, one time around we thought our reports were the bee’s knees and couldn’t get any better (ok maybe we were being a little biased) but with fresh eyes and a thirst for change we really went to town!
Our first and main aim was to produce a report at the end which is both vibrant and easily digestible for the client. The second aim was to improve efficiencies across the team. Making report writing quicker, easier and more enjoyable.
The core goal of any report writing journey we’ve gone on at Para-Sols has always been to make it the best it can be for the end client. Easily digestible, less jargon and engaging are what we strive to achieve. We started by changing the look and feel for the report, all the while having in the back of our mind the best way to make this work for the Paraplanners. We’ve introduced dynamic colours, icons and improved the layout so it’s clear to the client and not just 20 pages of words! We’ve also done away with pages of technical notes and replaced these with short and snappy FAQs. Giving the client the answers to the questions they have without all the waffle in the between.
Whilst working through the testing phase and getting to grips with content, I came across the Recommended Provider section of our reports. We agreed that the focus here from a clients’ perspective would be two-fold “why this provider?” and “what will it cost me?”. So, you can imagine my disbelief when I came across a report which had A PAGE AND A HALF of wording on a provider, the majority of which referred to their business turnover and how many awards they’ve won in the last three years.
I think it’s safe to say the client is not going to read that, hell, even I just scrolled past to find the end! It’s just unnecessary and the client is not going to be interested. Their trust first and foremost is in you as their adviser. They want to know that you have done your homework and researched a provider’s turnover and how many awards they’ve won as part of making sure it’s the right fit for them. But they certainly don’t need to read about it themselves!
So, secondly what have we done to make our reports quicker and easier? Well, we have always had a strong administrative team at Para-Sols who do an amazing job of compiling all the existing policy data in preparation for the suitability report. So, we started there. We’ve improved the format of which the data is compiled and we’ve streamlined the journey from admin to paraplanning. Honestly, I’ve had spreadsheets, word documents and tables coming out my eyes for the last couple of weeks but seeing it all come together, and one end seamlessly follow on to the other has made my now necessary, yet impromptu Opticians appointment next week seem so worth it!
We’ve tried and tested the new style across paraplanners and the admin team and it’s been deemed a success! Cutting down on the time it takes to produce the report, all the while having an eye-catching end result. Check Mate.
So, to summarise, make it brighter, make it shorter, make it better… for everyone.