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Do law firms deliver the experience their clients really want?

Legal-pic-338Following on from our last blog where we talked about positive customer service, we’ve been reading a White Paper published by LawNet on the importance of understanding the customer journey in the legal sector.

 

In a world where customer expectations are high across all sectors, and 91% of unhappy customers don’t return (Source: Marketing Metrics), it’s crucial for businesses to understand the key touchpoints on the customer journey – and law firms are no exception.  The LawNet report offers some really useful pointers for law firms including:

 

1. Appearance

First impressions count – how would a client see your office? Look at the route a client would take through the building through their eyes – is it clean, tidy, up to date, easy to find, are people friendly (particularly reception staff) and accessible?   Walking in your customers’ shoes  – or asking a trusted 3rd party to do so – can be quite illuminating.

 

2. Communication

Speed of response is crucial as are regular updates and following up on enquiries.  Customers also need to see a culture of open, honest communication – not only with them but between you and your colleagues.

 

3. Follow up

Don’t waste your marketing spend by not following up – if a potential client has made contact, follow it up. Evidence suggests that it takes at least 7 points of contact before a potential client trusts you enough to say “yes”.

 

4. Telephone skills

Often a crucial first contact, but telephone skills are often lacking. It’s important to ensure phones are answered promptly, with a smile and customers are made to feel valued by being treated as individuals.

 

LawNet ran a survey amongst their members and discovered that 50% of clients chose the firms they used because they had used them before or because someone had recommended them. This demonstrates the importance of looking after your existing clients – a job which belongs to everyone within your organisation. Law firms are dependent on their employees to deliver quality customer service.

 

To sum up, it’s worth giving serious consideration to how much you really know about the experience customers have of your firm. What do they think you do very well and what would they like you to do better? Are your employees delivering the best possible customer service? Do your clients feel valued? Happy customers are loyal customers – and they are more likely to recommend you to others!

 

Authors: Authors: Hannah Calderwood (Senior Research Associate) and Louise Wheeler (Director) at Research Oxford

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