Vacossin & associés, a notary office in Lille, adopted the Talkspirit collaboration platform in the spring of 2020. It was a genuine revolution in a world where digital transformation is facing historical and regulatory barriers and work habits that are difficult to shake up. Hugo Delescluse, associate notary, explains how the adoption of this new tool has boosted the team’s performance.
When Hugo Delescluse joined Vacossin & associés in 2009, the firm already had about 15 employees and three partners. To date, the firm has six notaries, including three partners. Having kept a large part of his clientele in Paris, he was out of town half the week, while the rest of the team was sedentary (in Lille), with clients who were used to visiting the firm.
Aware of the stakes of digital transformation, Attorney Hugo Delescluse (hereafter HD) has promoted remote collaborative work modes that have revolutionized the way notaries works.
- 20 employees
- customers spread over a large territory
- approximately 1,200 notarized acts processed per year, 95% of which are electronic
Two priorities: reducing emails and enabling remote collaboration
“When I joined this (notary) office in Lille, I was often on the road (for many Parisian clients), and I needed to be able to collaborate remotely with teams. I also wanted to stop sending non-stop emails from morning to night. The flow was such that I often didn’t have time to read them during the day, which could generate a backlog and block employees waiting for a response,” HD explains.
He insists on this need to distinguish between external and internal emails, finding it more efficient to conduct internal exchanges via chat or video conferencing tools.
“A few years ago, our IT service provider didn’t really see the need for an instant messaging tool because our employees didn’t have a business cell phone. And it was the same in the minds of employees: chat was associated with cell phones, which was a barrier to adoption.”
To get around internal resistance to the evolution of communication modes, HD ended up “tinkering” with a solution that would allow it to receive its emails and synchronize its agenda while on the move.
The will to find a human-centered enterprise social network
Aware of the need to speed up the digitization of the notary office, Hugo Delescluse quickly studied several ESN (enterprise social network) solutions. “Talkspirit stood out right away. What did I like? The solution’s accessibility, the team’s responsiveness, data storage based in France—crucial for the security of files our clients entrust us with, the competitive pricing, and the proximity of customer service. Identifiable and accessible interlocutors, rather than an email sent in English to a distant technical support team which takes days to answer.” Hugo also appreciates being able to suggest improvements to the team as part of a process of co-constructing a tool adapted to his needs.
In a profession often not far ahead of the digital world, Talkspirit was adopted very quickly. Deployed during lockdown, the solution made it possible to continue business activities thanks to videoconferencing, chat and file-sharing tools.” The accountant in charge of both accounting and HR at our company immediately saw the tool’s potential to make his life easier, and then played the role of ambassador. He created specific discussion threads where everyone comes to fill in their requests or expectations for transfers, directory notes, participation in our colleagues’ meetings, etc.” Everything is centralized, and he’s notified as soon as an item is added. Thanks to him, everyone adopted the tool fairly quickly. The teams have taken it over completely, and we’re now in a down-top logic in the exchanges on Talkspirit.”
The Vacossin & associés team
New uses adopted with ease
Most of the notary office’s employees use Talkspirit on PCs, and those who are frequently on the move have installed the mobile application. “It’s become both a communication and collaboration tool that’s been adopted within a very short period of time.”
On the collaboration side, the notaries use Talkspirit as a drive to share documents with the team. “I created a space where we store all the elements of internal and institutional communication as we go along. It’s 100 times more powerful than long chains of emails, and everyone knows where to find the information they need.” HD can also inform an employee who entrusts him with a new file via an individual discussion thread that centralizes all the information. “Following up on projects is easier. We both save time.”
On the communication side, small chat rooms have replaced informal office conversations. “The chat is amazingly effective for exchanges among employees. Information circulates much faster.” Talkspirit also replaced the Whatsapp groups that had spontaneously grown in the firm. “I created a thread called ‘Coffee machine, you have the right to tell each other everything,’ which experienced great success. The relationships within the teams—not necessarily seen in the office—are prominent on Talkspirit. It reinforces cohesion and information sharing and reflects on the group’s overall performance. We’ve just recruited two new employees, and the tool has helped them a lot with integrating into the team.”
The videoconferencing tool facilitates internal exchanges as well as preparatory meetings with clients before signing. “I find it fluid and efficient, with the possibility of screen sharing. The tool is technically very well developed,” explains HD.
Tangible benefits in a few months
Stronger internal communication, smoother exchanges, simplified file tracking, centralized information, distinction between external and internal messages… The notary firm draws a very positive assessment of the deployment of Talkspirit and foresees—given these new conditions—any potential new lockdowns with a great deal of serenity.
In terms of numbers, I find the cost of the solution very low compared to the benefits it offers us,” says Hugo Delescluse. “It’s incomparable.” And what about internal satisfaction levels? I have initiated many digital transformation projects over the last few years, and I’ve never implemented a new tool that’s been adopted so quickly by my employees.“
Talkspirit’s opinion on the challenges of Vacossin & associés
As for many SMEs, digital transformation was not won without effort. Finding time, integrating new work habits, and identifying solutions adapted to the needs of the company are all challenges likely to improve cohesion and teams’ overall performance.
The centralization of internal exchanges and the sharing of documents equate to appreciable timesaving in structures where everyone must be versatile and reactive. This is even truer in companies needing to integrate new teleworking habits.
A tool on a human scale, supported by a local team and developers based in France, Talkspirit meets the needs of SMEs in terms of support, flexibility and cost. We’re particularly attentive to our customers’ feedback and suggestions, that enables us to continuously improve our services by developing features that meet real operational needs.
Want to find out more about the Talkspirit solution? Talkspirit teams are available to answer your questions and support you in your collaborative projects.
Author: Clémentine Garnier