Posted by Amy Bruce, marketing manager of Legal Futures Associate Osprey Approach
According to a recent study, more than half of homebuyers found the process of buying a property more stressful than they were expecting it to be – and over a quarter (28%) said that solicitors not replying to them, along with the volume of admin they had to deal with, was challenging.
While there are conflicting media reports over whether the housing market will remain strong in 2022, many conveyancing teams are reporting high work levels, coupled with difficulties in recruiting fee-earners to service that work.
This means firms will need to redress the balance and look at ways to improve their client’s experience to remain relevant in a highly competitive market.
A client-focused approach
The best client-focused strategy that law firms can implement is simply to remove the friction and pain points from your client’s experience. Consider how you can reduce or eliminate waiting times, increase the channels of communications, improve transparency or the simplicity of your service, or respond to client queries sooner. Clients just want a stress-free and seamless experience.
Practice and case management solutions (PCMS) equip you with the digital tools needed to create these kinds of efficiencies whilst reducing stress for all parties involved in a transaction. Quality client service will always be a key competitive advantage, so focusing your strategy on being client-focused will help you stand out above the crowd.
In the 21st century legal sector, there are a wealth of practical steps that your firm can take to ensure that clients feel supported on their conveyancing journey, and therefore likely to recommend you to others and talk positively about the firm.
When combined, these small efficiency improvements and time-savings have a big impact on overall performance and productivity.
Here are six ways you can improve your conveyancing processes, which will enhance the quality of your client service whilst improving your profitability.
1. Digital signatures
Receive completed and signed documents faster with electronic signatures that remove the inconvenience of printing, scanning, and posting documents to your clients.
E-signature platforms, such as DocuSign, provide a quick and effective way for clients to sign and return documents online – 83% of e-signature transactions are completed in less than 24 hours, compared to the days or weeks common to traditional methods, for everything from client care letters during the onboarding processes to TR1 forms.
2. Onboarding questionnaires
Speed up data collection processes with an online, secure questionnaire that switches the responsibility of data entry to the client, helping to improve accuracy and crucially save time.
Pre-built questionnaires, which can be standardised across your firm to ensure the right data is collected at the right time, can be sent to clients via a secure web portal, filled out online and saved instantly back into your matter history. No more rekeying or endless email chains.
3. Digital searches and verifications
It’s important to ensure that your PCMS offers integrations with the best software and services available, which helps to reduce your stress and saves you time, whilst offering clients the seamless journey they expect.
For instance, if you currently spend hours drafting your report on titles, you can reduce this process to as little as 15 minutes by taking advantage of Osprey’s integration with InfoTrack’s Property Report.
By integrating your essential digital tools, you can centralise your data and files to stay organised, improve accuracies and reduce human error.
4. Automated workflows
When core conveyancing processes and tasks are streamlined and automated, it provides a solid foundation that speeds up transactions. Automated workflows help you to build standardised, compliant, and efficient conveyancing processes that are followed across your business.
This ensures tasks are completed when needed, data is collected and centralised, reminders are set, and client communications are scheduled. Reduce the administrative burden from your team’s processes to speed up and reduce the cost of your conveyancing transactions.
5. Online client updates
Keeping up with follow-ups and updates to clients can take away hours from your day, so having clear, real-time case progression updates online help to remove endless phone calls and emails. Easily send updates to your client’s secure web portal so they can view where their transaction is and any outstanding tasks that need to be actioned.
It’s a great way to increase client satisfaction too, as they have transparent, accurate data available to them when they need it without the inconvenience of checking in.
6. Real-time data
Providing updates to your clients is one thing but chasing for and providing details to third parties can be painful with so many moving parts.
It’s easy to get lost in endless spreadsheets or paper reports, but by digitalising your processes and centralising your data in your PCMS, you can easily and quickly run reports and view real-time dashboards for an accurate, high-level view of your firm’s performance.
Osprey enables you to connect easily to third parties via our integration with Coadjute, which connects you to other conveyancers, estate agents, mortgage brokers and lenders so you can synchronise data, share documents, and connect to HM Land Registry instantly and securely in real-time.
Future-proof your firm with quality client service
The quality of your client service will often be the deciding factor on whether your firm is chosen over your competitors.
Law firms that embrace technology to manage the daily running of their business will be able to take advantage of the opportunities outlined above.
If you’ve bucked the trend of the survey, and your clients have had a stress-free home moving experience, they are far more likely to recommend you to family and friends and talk positively about your firm.
For more help and advice about how you can exceed client expectations, as well as the tools you need to be successful, please download Osprey’s guide to providing quality client services here.