A modern telephony system can enable your practice to increase fees and profits if you can see what is happening to incoming calls …

 … but only (of course) if you use the information and additional features effectively to improve how calls are handled!  Think more widely about the potential benefits you can achieve if you are considering an upgrade.  Here is just some of the why and how.

Concert Networks’ findings from a recent “Secret Shopper” research into how law firms respond to telephone calls makes depressing reading if you are a partner in virtually any of the firms called.  On average the callers waited on hold for 47 seconds. When you consider that callers become frustrated after being on hold for 20 seconds or more, it is clear that the industry has room for big improvements.

How effectively does your practice handle inbound calls? 

You probably don’t know! If you do, it will probably be because you have already invested in a system with this kind of functionality that goes beyond just handling the call.  Even then, are you putting it to full use yet?  Maybe we can help you make it do more?

Concert Networks’ innovative Cloud Telephony with Call Reporting tools can give you information such as time to answer, call abandoned rate, time on hold and much more; and you can report on this information, giving department heads and senior management an accurate picture of each caller’s experience when they call your firm.

Reliable information to help constantly improve your use of resources

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This reliable real-time, easily accessible data enables you to make informed decisions about the most appropriate working patterns, where and when more (or less) people should be available to answer calls; and to organise effective routing of calls.  It gives you a truly objective way to monitor staff performance and to provide feedback to them to engage them in future improvements too. Without this information, that is (and has been for most firms) very difficult to achieve.

Let your people see what’s happening – to help them improve

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You don’t need to go this far .. but you can in areas of the business where it is appropriate  It lets you see which offices or departments are receiving the most calls, where there are bottlenecks that need to be resolved and much more. ‘Heads-up’ dashboards give you the real time data you need to act accordingly.

As an example of just some of what you could achieve … Bakers Solicitors, saved £500 a month and significantly reduced the number of calls being missed when they switched to Concert Networks’ Cloud Telephony system. Read the case study here.

To find out more about how Call Reporting can help you to increase client satisfaction, win more new business and grow faster request a FREE demo today by clicking on this link.

 

Benchmark your technology against other legal practices with LSN … requiring them to support a good cause too.

lsn-it-landscapeThe Legal Support Network (“LSN”) have produced excellent valuable information on use of technology in law firms from their “IT Landscape” surveys in the past … and they are at it again, compiling more information that they are willing to share with participating law firms.  This is information that can help you benchmark your use of IT and open up fresh thinking amongst your colleagues about what you might do differently – and better – in this critical area.

This is your chance to take part in this year’s IT Landscape survey, to get access to that shared information AND to enable LSN to contribute to worthwhile charities as a result of your participation too.  Feels like win-win all round?

Please take the survey here >>  LSN say it should take “just a few minutes; around 10-15”.

LSN will donate £5 to Shelter for every significantly filled in response, until we get to a donation of £300. If they get more than 100 responses, they will up the maximum to £350. If they get 150, we’ll make it £400.


If you have any questions, please contact Rupert Collins-White, editor-in-chief, Briefing magazine at LSN at rupertw@lsn.co.uk or on 0870 112 5058.

CONVEYANCERS – help clients to recommend you, let new prospects feel what it’s like to be a client

Conveyancing-WorkshopTwo key findings from recent research by tmgroup that can help conveyancers make the most of new opportunities to grow new business across your practice.

Conveyancers – particularly in the current property market – are in a great position to generate business, not just for their own department, but for the whole of the private client team; and commercial too, as company executives buy properties too of course.

  1. When it comes to why clients pick conveyancers, the biggest factor by a significant margin was communication, not price.
  2. Once a client recommends you to their friends, relatives and work colleagues, those who then use your services as a result see that this is the way things should be done – so they in turn are more likely to recommend you too.

All the more reason then to make it easier for your current clients to recommend you; so how do you do that?

Today’s Conveyancer reports today on tmgroup research which shows that people who were recommended a solicitor through a friend are more likely to make a recommendation themselves; whereas those who took an estate agent’s recommendation were much less likely to make a recommendation … and those who found a conveyancer online.

And … when it comes to why clients pick conveyancers, the biggest factor by a significant margin was communication, not price.

So isn’t that something your prospects should experience when someone calls for a “quote”?   Your people don’t need talk about it; just do it.  

AIDA works but involves some initiative by your people to:

  • Get their Attention
  • Demonstrate your Interest in them.
  • Arouse their Desire to come to you, rather than someone else
  • Agree next Actions, to keep the momentum going

Unfortunately, all our own mystery shopping research shows that little has changed in the last 15 years; still virtually no conveyancers make any effective effort to demonstrate their interest in communicating at this stage!

Conveyancers still keep focusing almost entirely on price – because the easiest question to ask and to answer is “How much ..?”

It could easily be so much better!

Conveyancers may also be interested in the following posts:

Risk of Cyber Breaches so high now that Insurance could become Mandatory for lawyers? Time to explore options.

Shocked young girl in front of computer monitor in a law firmInteresting comments from legal practitioners and the insurance sector at the Doctors Chambers Modern Law Conference 2016 at Old Trafford; reported recently in Modern Law.

According to David Hallam, Commercial Director at NCC Group –  the majority of data breaches arise from “phishing attacks”.  He explained that their expert hackers can gain access to systems “within 20 seconds” and once the hackers are in “40% manage to launch malware”, and of that 40%, “30% manage to obtain or compromise sensitive data”.  Responding to questions posed by the session chair, he concluded that cyber insurance “is moving towards becoming mandatory” for lawyers.


According to Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations Report, May 2015:

  1. 23% of people open phishing emails
  2. 11% open the attachments in those emails
  3. In 60% of cases, attackers can compromise your data within minutes
  4. It typically costs between £33 and £35 to fix each record breached

Michelle Garlick, Risk and Compliance expert at Weightmans said – “Firms can’t just sit and hope that attacks won’t happen … [they are] taking insurance more seriously” and looking more at “AAA rated insurance companies”;  also suggesting that when it comes to cyber risk, conveyancing is more risky than personal injury and that it is “too early” for cyber insurance to be mandatory.

On the other hand, Lesley Graves, MD of Citadel Law said that cyber crime could easily affect the personal injury market because firms often deal with “large amounts of money and sensitive information”. She recommended that delegates undertake a “business assessment” and look at how to build the long term cost into the business strategy”.

Ian Muldowney, Head of Professional Indemnity & Financial Risks (Reich Insurance Brokers) has seen a steep increase in calls surrounding cyber risks, particularly over the last 12 months, “with a huge increase in cyber crime activity both in the UK and globally, our clients are discovering that criminals are looking to target large organisations and SMEs alike.”

With the National Crime Agency noting that losses from such crimes exceed £16bn in the UK annually, clients are right to be concerned and to have cover in place which offers both preventative advice and a security blanket should anything go wrong. This is particularly were an expert broker can prove their worth.”

To address these critical risks:

1) Assess the risks and take steps to prevent breaches. The priority should be to take the 10 steps highlighted in this article to make your practice more cyber-resilient.

2) Insure against the breaches you can’t prevent.  You can be sure that no law firm can eradicate the risks completely – so backup insurance is essential with the risks clearly increasing here.  To give you a feel for the kind of cover available from reputable and reliable insurers, speak with a broker who has taken the time to understand Cyber insurance – such as Reich Insurance – who can review your needs and advise you on the best solutions available.

Reich Insurance, Cyber risksA policy can be sourced to provide:

  1. 24 hour incident number available 24/7.  Essential as it is critical to act quickly.
  2. A specialist IT forensics expert within 1 hour.
  3. Diagnosis of the issue, fixing it and getting the business back on track.
  4. Covering the costs of a) notification, b) data restoration, c) cyber business disruption and d) cyber extortion, all of which are real and potentially substantial costs in this situation.
  5. Help with public relations and specialist legal advice.

For more information about this and other relevant insurance policies, contact Ian Muldowney, Head of Professional Indemnity & Financial Risks, Reich Group of Companies on 0161 830 5491 or at ian.muldowney@reichinsurance.co.uk

To discuss what steps you should be taking now to reduce the risks of cyber breaches and build cyber resilience into your practice, contact Frank Manning at Inpractice UK on 0161 929 8355 or fmanning@inpractice.co.uk

6 practice development topics you will want to read … and share with some of your colleagues.

Internet Newsletter for Lawyers, Nick Holmes, Delia VenablesThe latest issue of the Internet Newsletter from Infolaw is now published.

In this issue

  1. Continuing Practice Development – Nick Holmes explains the changes to CPD being implemented by the SRA and the BSB
  2. Data protection – David Flint of MacRoberts considers two recent developments relating to data protection and trade secrets
  3. Customer care – Mindy Gofton of I-COM looks at the potential of using chatbots for customer service
  4. IT security – Lynda Minns considers the measures independent practitioners need to take in relation to IT security
  5. Cloud-based legal software – Delia Venables describes the products from 30 suppliers offering cloud-based software for lawyers
  6. Data protection – Alex Heshmaty of Legal Words introduces the new General Data Protection Regulation

Access the Newsletter online

Time for solicitors to make their voice heard. RESPOND NOW to support the Law Society’s case – before 21 September.

SRA timebombSolicitors should be responding now to the current poorly thought-through SRA proposals to radically reform – again – who can provide legal services.  The Law Society need more support committed to writing from solicitors to back up their well presented case against.

DOWNLOAD: Start by reading the Law Society Response here.  

This is a strong and well reasoned response from the Law Society to the SRA’s consultation, “Looking to the Future” which clearly demonstrates that the SRA’s proposals have not been fully researched or thought through.  The need for change has not been properly defined or quantified, the proposals will damage client protection, consumers will be exposed to more risks and the international reputation of English law will be seriously eroded.

The deadline for your response is 21 September, so you still have some time to Respond Here Now 

Solicitors will already have received an information pack from the Law Society, which provides guidance on how to submit a response.  There is still time for you to do this before the deadline if you haven’t done so already.

It is important that solicitors make their voices heard on this critical consultation.

If you do send in a response, it would help to share it with the Law Society too as it will greatly inform their continuing work on this campaign.  Please send completed responses to regulation@lawsociety.org.uk

Residential Conveyancers: Get focused on generating new business from your best prospects.

Define, agree and act on opportunities to improve performance and produce more profit from your residential conveyancing services … and your wider private client practice.

ConveyancersInpractice UK have partnered with TheConveyancingMap to deliver a tailored service to help conveyancers quickly and reliably set out a sound plan to develop their residential conveyancing business; also engaging the conveyancing team in the initiative to make sure that plans are put into practice.  This service is delivered by Allan Carton at Inpractice UK and Richard Hinton of theConveyancingMap – each with more than 20 years’ experience of developing conveyancing services in the legal sector.

Objectives

  • Define and implement an assured strategy to develop a more profitable residential conveyancing business.
  • Identify the weaknesses of your competitors and exploit them effectively
  • Generate more profitable private client instructions as a direct result of an increase in  your conveyancing business.
  • Engage your people in your plans for your business, by helping  them to understand it.
  • Establish a presence and effective relationships where they really matter to generate the conveyancing business you want.
  • Focus any spend on marketing and promotion where you can be sure it will target the people you want as clients.

Who is this for?

Any practice that provides conveyancing services will benefit from an objective review of the market in which they operate.  Conveyancers may also be interested in our specialist workshop on dealing with conveyancing quotes / enquiries and maximising referral opportunities.

WHAT YOU GET:

A:  Market Intelligence

TheConveyancingMap intelligence on transactions completed in your local area, including a clear picture of who is doing what,  This includes mapped distribution, volume and value of conveyancing transactions handled in your catchment area by:

  • Each conveyanConveyancing Market Intelligencecing competitor.
  • Each estate agent

B:  Expert Interpretation in Context

A preliminary report providing expert interpretation of this information in the context of your business, identifying key opportunities and potential challenges.

C:  Brainstorm with Our Experts – Explore Options, Agree Strategy & Plan

Up to a day of consultancy, working with your team on your premises to develop an agreed strategy and action plan to develop your conveyancing practice, most effectively to meet your objectives for your practice.  During this session, Allan Carton of Inpractice UK and Richard Hinton of ConveyancingMap will work with you to:

  • Explore the data and opportunities, and potential strategies
  • Identify best prospects and where they live
  • Define how to extend services with current clients
  • Develop, agree and refine a strategy and outline action plan to capture these opportunities.
  • Engage your key people in the discussion to build a shared view

D:  Defined Plan of Action

We then deliver a concise report recording the conclusions, strategy and plan of action agreed during the workshop session and any other recommendations.  This is to be shared and actively reviewed to engage the whole conveyancing team and to track progress; and to be adapted over time.

Optional Extra: We can “mystery shop” your practice and your competitors to add more intelligence to identify more opportunities to differentiate your practice, to make you stand out above competitors.

To find out more, complete the enquiry form on this page or contact Allan Carton at acarton@inpractice.co.uk or Tel: 07779 653105.