The results of a survey reveal five elements customers use to define good service:
Ø Efficient processes
Ø Jargon free
Ø Pro-active advice
Ø Professional appearance
Of course, surveys can produce results to fit the theory, but these points are to some extent representative of any customer experience, and Willwriting is no exception.
Empathy; it is no use supplying a product without understanding the customer’s feelings or motivation to make a Will. Life-changing events often prompt clients into making their Will. It could be the death of a loved one, a divorce, redundancy, an unexpected inheritance and so on. The event is an emotional trigger that sits somewhere on the scale between happy and sad. The Willwriter has to emphasise and understand the client’s reasons for making the Will. I have not yet seen a commercial computer program that judges the client’s state of mind.
Efficient processes; Online Wills are extremely structured, but not very flexible. Phrasing online questions provides standard answers automatically. This is not the case with face-to-face interviews. Additional, often vital, information is available to the trained Willwriter. Although the Willwriter uses a manual process, it is efficient and adaptable to answers received. A good Willwriter will discuss each step of the process with the client and ensure they fully understand what is going to happen. Preparation is the key to efficiency and Hay Tarn’s Will Preparation Pack puts the client fully in the picture.
Jargon free; Wills are full of legal jargon and written in a way that defies the rules of English Language. The Willwriter provides a comments letter with the draft Will explaining everything in as much detail the client requires. The client understands the Will and checks that it meets his requirements. The online Will often appears without any explanation about certain terms, the client assumes it is satisfactory.
Pro-Active Advice; Clients frequently do not have the answers to every question. They are looking for advice and the Willwriter can discuss practical options with them. Advice is offered based the answer to the question, for example appointing the appropriate Trustees, organising the signing, and witnessing of the Will. How many on line Wills appoint the wrong trustee to their children’s maintenance trust? How many on line Wills are never signed because the subscriber forgets or does it incorrectly?
Professional Appearance; Preparing Wills is a serious business. There is no room for poor quality or service. Client confidence is in direct proportion to these elements. Client expectations include respect, good communications, timeliness, smart appearance, politeness and confidence. Websites hosting on line Wills are often smart, functional and relatively easy to navigate, but they lack human interaction and consequently are predictable, static and sterile. At Hay Tarn Wills, I am in a position to exceed the expectations of my clients. This is satisfying to my clients and me and is a situation that no online Will can deliver.
Online Wills are appropriate for some people, and if it means the difference between having a Will and not having one, then so be it. My conclusion has to be that online Wills are cheaper, and this is good, but you get what you pay for. Dismissing the service provided by a professional Willwriter could mean the difference between saving a few quid now, and paying a price later.