Last year the legal sector went through a slew of legislative and procedural changes, some that had a greater effect on firms than others. I’ve talked about these before, but with the recent release of the Law Society’s Future of Legal Services report, it seems like a fitting time to see how firms should be preparing for the future.
Nick Hilborne reported on a piece of Law Society research that found last year firms were in a good place financially. Their average income increasing by over 5%, furthermore the average net profit per partner was on the rise for the fifth consecutive year. With this rise in profits, how could firms be reinvesting in themselves to increase conversion rates and enhance their clients’ experience.
Keeping technology and software up-to-date is not only costly but necessary in order to ensure that they still serve their purpose and are still efficient. Last year 62% of law firms reported suffering from a security incident. This year cyber-attacks are a hot topic and ensuring that you not only prepare for them, but also have a recovery plan in place for when anything occurs, is more important than ever. The number one concern that law firms associate with a cyber-attack is the loss of client data and sensitive information. Having a disaster recovery option on standby to recover all data is an essential part of being prepared and also being able to deal with the aftermath of an incident that disrupts work. Use CALLCARE to handle your calls during a system failure so that no new enquiries or client calls are missed. Why not consider our Voice and Data recovery service vCare to cover both areas.
Likewise, we spoke to a number of firms recently that were still working with out of date phone systems and were no longer able to handle calls properly as the firm was expanding. This could cause you to miss communication from existing clients and even new business opportunities.
Enhancing Client Experience
Your clients’ first point of contact with the firm was probably one of your receptionists. Have you evaluated and seen how effective they are at the job? This usually correlates to what sort of training they have had, and how often this training is revisited. It is a fact that it’s not what’s said, but more how it is said when talking about service for clients and new callers. As a result, your receptionists need to be conveying the right tone and also projecting the professional image associated with your firm.
With 85% of firms currently not providing adequate training for their call handlers, neglecting this area shows firms up as falling short in service levels. According to a study done by Professor Ian Cooper, an expert in legal communications, when training was provided firms saw a 10% increase in conversion rates after just 1 month.
Providing excellent service goes beyond just client satisfaction.
Experts in client experience for law firms, CXINLAW found that reinvesting just 10% of a firm’s revenue into client experience not only increased client retention by over 30% and also rolled over into increasing client referral rates by 50%.
Going above and beyond
With the aforementioned legislative and procedural changes, the Law Society report noted that if a business is not reinventing itself to adapt to changing market conditions then it is highly likely it will go into decline to be taken over by those that are better adapted to the new environment.
In terms of the future provision of legal services, the diverse range of demands and impacts on the profession is forcing a rethink of everything from training and development through to the type of people being recruited. As the sector and market evolves the services offered continue to grow. So how can your firm go beyond the usual expected levels of service?
Why not provide conveyancing quotes to callers over the phone? Did you know that 60% refuse to give these out to new callers? What about fully qualifying and profiling any personal injury claims before handing them over to your fee earners, so not to waste their time. This is especially important after the minimum claims limit was raised to £5,000 from £1,000 after the autumn budget last year.
Round the clock
Of course no one expects firms to operate 24/7 but for firms dealing with criminal call outs they need to be prepared to be able to handle calls that come in out of hours. Missing calls from the duty solicitor call centre could result in the case going to a competing firm and can result in solicitors getting struck off if calls are missed repeatedly.
Outsourcing to CALLCARE can ensure that any out of hours’ communication for your firm is preserved amongst other things. Clients calling in after office hours are no longer frustrated with an answer message or an ongoing ringtone with no answer.
Outsource to CALLCARE
With the hassle of additional training, software updates and the new national living wage in April why not consider a remote option that you have more control over and reduces operating costs, while maintaining high service levels. An intelligent outsourcing solution enables your firm to do more and elevate you above your competitors. CALLCARE are a trusted service provider for the legal sector and recognise the importance of good quality call handling for law firms.
Get in touch now to find out how we support our legal clients or to speak to our specialists about setting up a solution tailored to your exact needs.