Monthly Archives: April 2010

Any smiling assassins at your legal practice?

91% of clients felt they received good service; 92% felt the lawyers acted in their best interests and were satisfied with the outcome; but on the other hand 25% felt it took too long; 25% felt it was too expensive; maybe the same 25%, maybe not (so that’s up to 50% not really happy).

Think about it – what does that really mean?  Add to this that 83% of users of legal services agreed they wouldn’t know how to tell good from bad and you can see where complacency amongst law firms can stem from.

You can see who are the smiling assassins that Lee talks about in his earlier post – the up to c. 41 or 42% who say they are happy but still grumble about fees, timescales .. and whatever else.  But scarily, clients carry on using their lawyers regardless without really pressing them for something better (but probably grumble about it anyway) because they don’t know what “better” looks like.  So there is a problem here that too many law firms are ignoring. Clients keep coming back in spite of this because they don’t know any better.  That is set to change … maybe, so it’s time to beware of complacency and to work harder to provide clients with more of what they really “value” in the services provided by lawyers.

Our recent research shows that too many law firms just don’t work hard enough to give clients a first class experience.  Too much is taken for granted when more rapport and empathy with clients would make a world of difference. 

Note: These statistics come from the baseline survey conducted by the MoJ in March this year with a representative sample of just under 1000 people, a 46-page report which you can download here.

As further proof of the complacency and missed opportunities here, we will give you some feedback from our recent research on how firms deal with first time enquiries for advice on divorce and family problems in the next few days.  See also our earlier post on Cooperative Legal and conveyancing.

Allan Carton

Cooperative Legal learning old tricks?

The news about Cooperative Legal going on a major new advertising campaign in their stores prompted us to check out their conveyancing services yesterday … which proved to be a very disappointing experience as a consumer; great news if you are one of their competitors though. We made one of our ghost calls to their conveyancing team, asking for a quote on legal fees when moving home to check out their response. It wasn’t good.

It took all of 4 minutes to get to speak to someone, working through their call answering system options with a long time on hold.  The person who spoke to us made no effort to tell us anything about the benefits of using their services; they didn’t find out anything about the caller other than the price of the properties involved, so we couldn’t judge them on anything other than price (and the poor experience of getting to speak to them).  Not only that but they also quoted a higher legal fee than any of the 3 other legal practices we approached after that call with the same numbers. Mind you, the other legal practices didn’t fare much better at all.  They were just as bad and didn’t take advantage of the opportunity to talk to us about more than just the price.

At least follow up emails are better than in the past. where there is some mention of the benefits, but that comes too late.  The everlasting first impression has already done the damage. 

I had thought the Cooperative would be raising standards, but far from it on this performance. However, lawyers shouldn’t get too complacent over this. I’d expect Cooperative Legal to get better in the future – shocked if they didn’t.   It’s really not difficult for conveyancers to handle these telephone enquiries dramatically better to convert more calls into business, potentially at higher fees.  We run half day sessions that enable conveyancers to think about and handle calls very differently with potential to change the dynamics of these calls overnight.

We can help by running a workshop to help you generate more business >>

Allan Carton

Taking your first steps with social media

Everywhere you look these days people are talking about “social media” but what’s all the fuss about and why should you bother? 

Focused Networking, Efficient Use of Time, Better Information?

Social media makes business networking much more effective and efficient using the web, which has succeeded in making geography and time irrelevant when developing new opportunities.  Now you can network with anyone anywhere.  You can reach more of the right (and wrong) people faster and you can get to know more relevant information about them than just meeting face-to-face; and you can make sure you meet the right people face-to-face, when you do.

This is as much about developing relationships with existing clients, referrers and business partners (to bring them closer to you) as it is about targeting new prospects. You can constantly drip feed information about you, your organisation, what you could be doing for them and what interests you to people you connect with.

Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook also enable you to become proactive and interactive with your website and blog.  People who “follow” or “connect to” or get involved in the same groups, or register to attend the same events as you  can be prompted to check you out on their mobile or email any time you add new material by a “tweet” or a status update.

To find out more about our approach go here to download our free advice or contact Allan Carton at acarton@inpractice.co.uk or on +44 (0)7779 653105