SME law firms are not creating a good impression to potential clients nor following up viable inquiries.
Law firms are failing to deliver on the most basic aspects of client experience. According to a report by Client Experience company CXINLAW, 88 per cent of initial inquiries with law firms did not deliver a very positive result for prospective clients or the legal providers involved. The research found that 58 per cent of firms left shoppers likely to call competitors and a third of all calls were so poor that an instruction would definitely not take place. According to the report, 75 per cent of viable new inquiries were not proactively followed up by law firms through methods such as a simple email to show appreciation for the call, summarise the conversation, provide helpful resources or confirm the next contact.
The research, ‘First Impressions Convert: Increasing Law Firm Profitability From the First Touch-point’, in association with the Australasian Legal Practice Management Association (ALPMA), was carried out by using mystery shopping techniques commonly found in the retail industry to establish the quality and impact of prospective client interactions with legal staff. The research sampled a range of 50 small to midsize firms across a range of law practice areas – from family, wills and estates to business and commercial law matters. Carl White, director of CXINLAW said, 'Time is running short for law firms that overlook the benefits of a focus on Client Experience. In a buyers’ market providers simply cannot afford to underwhelm and those that improve will increasingly outperform the rest. These results indicate that firms are likely to leave prospective clients indifferent to their services, or worse; when there are clear and actionable ways to do much better.'
Service delivery is core
ALPMA President, Dion Cusack said: 'In an increasingly competitive market with clients demanding more, law firms need to find differentiators and above all ensure that service delivery is a core value. This research shows there is still a long way to go in educating firms on the advantages of a continued focus on clients and the overall client experience.'