By Legal Futures Associate Moneypenny
Law firms are being urged to prioritise the caller experience, as new research reveals the UK public is spending more time on calls to businesses than three years ago.
Moneypenny, the leading outsourced communications provider which handles 2 million legal calls and live chats each year for more than 1,000 legal firms in the UK, surveyed 2,000 consumers across the UK and US to identify trends in client behaviour, communications preferences and the biggest gripes, as part of its Global Customer Call Trends report.
Despite the growing reliance on digital channels, the phone still comes out on top as consumers’ favourite method of contacting a business, with 35% of those surveyed saying they prefer to call than use other tools.
Crucially though, data reveals that the nature of business calls has changed. According to the survey, 45% of respondents admit to spending longer on the phone to businesses – demonstrating that inbound calls to law firms demand more attention than three years ago.
It also revealed that call handlers are likely to face more urgent, complex and sensitive queries and must be prepared to deliver the appropriate level of care and consideration.
Bernadette Bennett, head of legal sector at Moneypenny said: “In an ever more competitive marketplace, the phone provides an opportunity for law firms to stand out and prove they care. Clients want real conversations with real people so it’s crucial that the employees responsible for handling firms’ calls have the resource and experience to not only answer professionally, but also tune into the emotion of the caller. This could be make or break in terms of landing a valuable new instruction – or not.”
Joanna Swash, CEO of Moneypenny, commented: “There’s a strong emotional rationale behind how an individual chooses to get in touch with a business. And with the phone, it’s increasingly because they have complex needs that require a blend of expertise, empathy and discussion that simply can’t be met any other way.
“These are the calls that businesses cannot afford to miss yet there remains a lack of understanding around the motivation behind customer calls that’s fraying tempers and testing patience. Only the businesses that appreciate the fact that inbound calls are driven by a specific need and give callers the time they need to find a solution, are the ones who will have happier, more fulfilled customers.”
The trend is consistent across all generations with at least 40% of Gen Z, millennials, Gen X and baby boomers each reporting an increase in the amount of time they spend on the phone to organisations – despite 30% of respondents make fewer calls than they did three years ago. The behaviour is mirrored between the UK and US, and the genders.
Joanna Swash continued: “As a business that handles inbound communications for thousands of organisations across the globe, we understand the true value of these calls and the commercial and reputational impact of failing to handle them correctly.”
The survey revealed that following a badly handled call, 36% of people will take their business elsewhere, 34% will make a complaint and a quarter will leave a negative review.
Joanna concluded: “Businesses have a duty to do right by their customers and by prioritising caller experience, they can increase loyalty and stand out within their industry. It’s time to give calls the attention they deserve.”
The report includes practical advice to help legal leaders ensure positive caller experiences and understand how to respond appropriately to different types of calls.
It is available to download for free on Moneypenny’s website: https://moneypenny.com/uk/calltrends/
Moneypenny handles more than 2 million legal calls and live chats each year for more than 1,000 legal firms in the UK, including 60 of the Top 200, thanks to its dedicated team of legal PAs.
Established in 2000, Moneypenny is the world’s market leader for telephone answering, live chat, outsourced switchboard, and customer contact solutions. In total, more than 13,000 businesses across the UK benefit from Moneypenny’s mix of extraordinary people and ground-breaking technology.
For more information about Moneypenny’s work with the legal sector, visit https://www.moneypenny.com/uk/legal-answering-services/