Legal firms must remain responsive and accessible around the clock during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to leading outsourced communications company Moneypenny.
Following the Government’s directive that people must stay at home and, as increasing numbers of people self-isolate, many legal firms are struggling to handle calls without the help of a traditional office-based workforce.
New research from Moneypenny, carried out by Censuswide, found that three in ten firms didn’t have out of hours call handling and two in five didn’t offer live chat on their websites before the pandemic, which could leave them facing additional and serious operating difficulties now.
Bernadette Bennett, Commercial Manager – Legal at Moneypenny, which handles more than 2 million legal calls and live chats each year for more than 1,000 legal firms, said: “Now more than ever legal firms need a good pipeline of new work in order to guarantee their futures. We know from our research that 38% of all new phone enquiries are new business leads, so missed calls, however temporary, are costing business.
“In the face of uncertainty, people are using the phone and website live chat to seek reassurance, clarity and information in their droves and at all times of day and night. Legal firms really cannot afford to miss these opportunities and they only get one chance; we already know that 69% of people won’t leave a message.
“As more legal firms are forced to rethink how they organise themselves and operate in this strange new world, they must prioritise client care and call handling. It sends a positive ‘we are still open for business’ message to the market.”
Moneypenny also provides live chat services to the legal sector and has seen a spike in legal live chats requesting information and guidance on will writing, employment law and holiday compensation, as the effects of Covid19 are felt across the UK.
Bernadette concluded: “Legal firms are being faced with a barrage of Covid19-related enquiries, particularly as people want to explore their employment rights as some jobs are furloughed and to pursue compensation claims for missed holidays. Perhaps most sobering of all, is the increase in enquiries about making wills as families think about making provision for the future.”
Already Moneypenny’s specialist business continuity solutions are helping legal firms to ‘stay open’ for business despite challenging operating conditions. Moneypenny offers telephone answering support, live chat services and a 24/7 cloud-based digital switchboard, which uses intelligent speech recognition to connect callers without the need for human intervention.