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It’s harder on the phone

Posted by Helen Hamilton Shaw, director of services at Legal Futures Associate LawNet [1]


Have you called your own firm recently?

It’s been nearly two years since we launched our Excellence Mark programme of client service support for LawNet member firms. And during this time we’ve completed over 1,000 mystery shopping exercises which have revealed some interesting insights for our firms.

I’ve just been comparing the data from last year with this, and it’s great to see the overall scores improving across the board. It’s certainly true that what gets measured gets done. It’s positive to see that the hard work and focus across the network to improving client service through training and measuring performance is paying off.

But looking at those figures, one of the things that stands out is the discrepancy that still exists between the scores achieved for the walk-in mystery shopping enquiries and those made on the phone.

Last year there was a 10% difference in the overall average score between this two. This year that has narrowed slightly to 9% but it’s still a significant difference. And one worth thinking about in more detail.

Why is this so important and what can firms do about it?

Well, the ‘why’ should hopefully be obvious. The first point of contact that many clients and prospective clients will have with your firm will be on the telephone, yet our statistics show us that it’s much harder to provide high levels of client service over the phone.

It’s more difficult to build rapport and express empathy when you’re not face to face with a client. Many people don’t like talking on the phone and so try to get callers off too quickly, which can appear as though you are not interested in them.

So how can you help your teams deliver better customer service on the phone?

Here are our top tips:

As with everything, it’s so important to test yourself. So if you haven’t tried calling your firm recently, why not give it a go?