By Legal Futures’ Associates Moneypenny 
Legal companies are among the best performing businesses for customer care and low call waiting times, according to new research.
The survey of 1000 people by leading outsourced comms company Moneypenny revealed that just 6% of survey respondents feel legal firms have poor call handling times – compared with utility companies (33%) doctors (27%), banks (25%) and phone companies (21%). The best performing businesses of all were estate and letting agents at 5%.
The findings also revealed that 85% of people believe UK businesses are blaming long call and live chat wait times on Covid, despite being almost a year into the pandemic.
The average wait time for calls and live chat requests was also revealed – 18% of said they have to wait 1-5 minutes and 23% have to wait 5-10 minutes, while 6% have to wait 45-60 minutes and 19% typically give up waiting altogether.
While the survey shows that 55% of people believe some phone delays are acceptable due to Covid there were some notable sector, age and regional differences.
- 73% of 16-24 year olds said phone answering delays are acceptable, compared with 45% of over 55 year olds.
- 61% of those in Greater London said phone answering delays are acceptable, compared with 42% in the North East and 48% in the South East.
- Welsh customers are most likely to give up waiting for their call to be answered (22%), compared with those least likely to in Yorkshire (12%) and the South East (14%).
Bernadette Bennett is the Head of Legal Sector for Moneypenny, which handles calls and live chats for more than 1,000 law firms in the UK. She said: “Since the start of the pandemic we’ve seen a marked increase in the number of legal firms calling on outsourcing call handling and live chat support because they recognise the importance of accessibility for their clients, particularly during such worrying and uncertain times. Improving customer care has been a real priority for legal firms over the last decade so it’s great to see it recognised in these findings.”
Group CEO of Moneypenny, Joanna Swash said: “Businesses that say unprecedented demand due to Covid is the reason for long wait times are essentially telling customers they are not important – and our data shows that customers recognise this. Meeting demand is imperative to business survival, now more than ever.
“It’s interesting that legal and property companies were least likely to be mentioned for poor answering times and we know from our clients in these sectors that they prioritise good customer service. However, the survey shows that the pandemic is being used as a scapegoat for poor customer care.”
She added: “Even with reduced staff through redundancies and furloughing, there are so many cost effective solutions available to ensure customer calls and live chat can continue, it’s not good enough for companies to reduce service levels an expect customers to be happy. As businesses open up there is a real danger that customers will vote with their feet and move to a competitor if poor service levels continue.”
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 60 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/