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Jessica Brome is Operations Manager at Just Mortgages, she explains her role and offers a behind the scenes look at Client Services
I count myself lucky to be in a unique position managing Client Services at Just Mortgages as I can take a bird’s eye view. This is helpful when such a large part of my role is listening to the varied needs of the business. This all-inclusive understanding of the business and our clients is invaluable when developing and implementing tailored strategies. We aim to offer unmatched service throughout the business, and I believe this approach allows us to ensure we are meeting the needs of our clients.
What does an operations manager do?
In a nutshell, I am responsible for anything the company needs to do to enhance our customer journey from both a business and client perspective. You can find me doing anything from managing our Client Services Team, to working on branding and compliance. Ensuring our clients feel listened to is my top priority.
At Just Mortgages, we are continually working towards delivering a five-star service. Behind the scenes, I am juggling an array of strategies, plans, and tasks that can help forecast possible issues and identify areas of potential growth. All of this is alongside dealing with the day-to-day tasks within the business, acting as a sounding board keeping everything together.
How does your role help Just Mortgages stand out from the competition?
From my perspective as Operations Manager, I am always conscious of keeping an eye on the bigger picture. As part of that, I am constantly looking for new ways to improve the tools our advisers use because we know this will reflect positively on the customer’s journey and experience. To give an example, we are currently working to improve the point of sale system our advisers use to undertake their day-to-day business, such as lead management and business submission. This is a sizeable project that has been in the works for a long time and one which we will continue to review and develop.
How did the pandemic impact your role?
In the past 18 months there have been several unforeseen events which we have affected our industry and presented their own challenges. Our training team went above and beyond to tailor to these unfamiliar circumstances by conducting virtual courses for new starters in our training academy, ensuring none of our new starters missed out on vital learning opportunities within the business. The outcome of these virtual learning courses has been overwhelmingly positive, with all new starters settling comfortably into their new positions knowing they have been supported by the Just Mortgages team.
Covid-19 gave the business a unique opportunity to broaden our perspective on additional lead sources available, a task which would not have been possible without my client services team.
My team stepped up to new challenges in wider areas of the business during the pandemic; supporting the business with mortgage appointments when surveyors were furloughed, and estate agencies closed. We had more people than ever contacting us via our website and social media channels, as well as a record-breaking number of client services calls.
The key takeaway here is if you have effective processes in place and a strong team who understand exactly what their role is within the business, then you are armed to cope with almost anything the world sends your way.
How did you make sure your clients and team felt supported through the pandemic?
The types of questions we were being asked as a team shifted overnight, so our priority was to remain as clear and informative as we could be. To support our clients in the best way possible we met daily as a team to discuss the types of issues our clients were facing. By sharing our knowledge and experiences, we remained a source of support and stability for our customers during what was for many, a greatly stressful time. Our aim was to be considerate and understanding and look to provide options to help those who may be in need.
My team is undoubtedly my biggest reward at work. I am massively proud of them and all they have achieved in what was a very uncertain time.
What do you think about when you take a moment to reflect?
I have been at Just Mortgages for over twenty years and have seen lots of changes within our business and the industry as a whole during this time. I remember when we first started the Client Services Strategy over six years ago and I had to deliver the first set of results to the management team. We had one sign up that was worth £900! Fast forward to this year, and we will generate £3.2 million for Just Mortgages. When I stop and have a moment to look back, the progress we have made and the growth we have achieved is phenomenal.
Originally published in the Financial Reporter in June 2021.