No matter what’s prompted a potential client to ring your firm, this is your only opportunity to make that vital first impression. Yes, they may have had a glowing recommendation from a friend or colleague. They may have read a good review about your firm or liked the look of your website – but what will be their real impression when they make that all-important first contact with your firm?
The fact is that the impression they form will help them to decide whether they want to use your services, and ultimately have a financial impact on your firm.
Our Secret shopper research, where we mystery shop the UK’s leading law firms, has shown where many firms are going wrong. This is the fifth year we have produced our report, and as with previous years our approach is as follows:
We called 30 leading UK law firms on three separate occasions to find out how they would respond to different types of new business enquiry; these being will writing, debt recovery and residential property.
It’s fair to say we had some really interesting and unexpected results with progress in some areas but worrying regression in others. Here’s 5 key take a way’s from our findings that we think all law firms should be aware of…
- Our Secret Shopper calls found that phone still not answered as well as it could be. There is a need for training to ensure that firms deliver a consistent service every time. And it regularly appeared that the person answering the phone had no visibility of their colleague’s availability, meaning lots of time on hold, and being transferred to answer machines.
- Despite improvement in the average time we spent on hold (28.5 seconds, compared to 44 seconds last year) the amount of times we were able to speak to someone who could help us has deteriorated.
- There were a surprisingly high number of cases where the firm didn’t retain ownership of an incoming call but instead leaves it to chance that the caller will phone back. And remember we’re talking about new business enquiries here!
- A significant number of calls were lost when transferring between offices. This is shocking considering that there is so much technology at hand today that can help with multi-site businesses to stop this happening.
- We only received a follow up from 1.5% of calls, the lowest we’ve ever seen. When you consider that on average it takes 7 touchpoints to move a new business enquiry through to a ‘yes’, it’s imperative that law firms follow up with new enquiries and this presents a real opportunity for competitive advantage.
Customers now have much less patience for the kind of client experience mentioned above, but the good news is that some simple changes could make a big difference and help increase business. Our full report is free to download and contains many more insights for law firms and clear guidance on how to improve your firm’s communications, click below to get your copy.