The results are in from Secret Shopper 18 and they make fascinating reading. In what was the fifth year of our client communication survey, we contacted 30 leading law firms on three separate occasions for a total of 90 calls.
A number of problem areas were identified in the subsequent report:
- People failing to take ownership of a call
- Callers being lost between other offices
- A low percentage of callers being put through to someone who could help
The most surprising thing by far, though, was the dismally low number of calls being followed up. Incredibly, only 1.5% of incoming calls received a call back. There must be a lot of disappointed clients out there with poor experience of law firms.
As the problem is so widespread, it seems clear that any firm that were to tackle it and make improvements would gain real competitive advantage over fellow legal businesses.
So what’s going wrong at the moment?
The first part of the problem is that contact details were only taken on 25% of the calls. Email addresses were only asked for on 37.7% of calls and telephone numbers were asked for on just 43.3% of calls. Obviously, having no details makes it impossible to follow up.
You need to be embedding a culture within your firm where it becomes second nature to want to keep communicating with a prospective client. Post GDPR, there are key steps that must be followed but it’s essential that you establish a consistent system for collecting contact details throughout the business.
When you hear that it takes a minimum of seven contacts or touches for a prospect to trust you enough to give you a ‘yes’, the importance of collecting those contact details becomes even more imperative.
How could the situation be improved?
Technology can help enormously in helping firms to streamline how they handle enquiries. Consider integrating your phone system with your case management software or CRM system. This helps because when a client calls, your case management software will recognise their number and present the relevant case file. If the number is not recognised, the call will be identified as a possible prospect, log it in the system as such and prompt you to automate follow ups. Bespoke telephone numbers and on-screen displays will enable your teams to know instantly where a caller has received your details from, even tracking it back to a particular marketing campaign. As well as being much more efficient, it will mean your team will come across as offering a highly professional and personalised service.
Remember, these enquiries are the lifeblood of your business. Don’t throw away all the hard work that has gone into getting someone to the point of calling your firm whether that be from marketing campaigns, networking, client referrals etc by not then following up.
You can get more advice about integrating you phone system with your Case Management software here.