Some 60% of conveyancing firms refuse to give fee quotes over the phone and, whether they do or not, the majority then fail to follow-up with their prospective client, ‘mystery shopper’ research has revealed.
The study of 100 firms also found that nearly a quarter (24%) of firms did not display their phone number on the home page of their websites and 42% of sites were not mobile-friendly.
Researchers from search provider TM Group called each firm last month and asked if they could provide a quote for the purchase of a property worth £280,000 outside London and £520,000 in the capital.
Of the 100, 31 refused to give a quote over the phone and then failed to follow up, as did 24 firms which did give a quote. A further 29 would not quote over the phone but did follow up, while just 16 did both.
Just seven firms tried to close the business over the phone.
“You might be hesitant to reveal your fees over the phone,” the survey said, “but one of the consistent findings from the annual Home Moving Trends survey, of more than 4,500 home movers, is that just 1 in 10 actually choose the cheapest conveyancing quote.
“Home movers aren’t quite as price conscious as you might imagine; they’re happy to pay a fair price for a good service. Just make sure that when you’re quoting explain what value the client will get for their money…
“If you can’t quote your potential client on the phone, be sure to e-mail them instead. Even if you have already provided a quote over the phone, following up with a professional e-mail gives you another chance to show off your firm’s unique selling points and will also demonstrate that you want their business and can stick to your word.”
Ben Harris, marketing director at TM Group, said it was a “shock” that with the range of specialist tools available, so many firms did not have the quotation process taken care of.
He said the research identified a “huge opportunity to raise the consumer service bar” and firms that achieved this would find a “quick and easy” way to stand out from the competition and increase both fees and new business conversion.
Among the other tips in the report was to set up a Google business page, to increase the chances of appearing on the search engine’s list of top three local conveyancers.
Another way of boosting firms’ Google rankings was to display customer reviews as a star rating – a technique used currently by only 12% of firms.
Researchers found that although the majority of conveyancers (79%) asked for their potential clients’ names, almost two-thirds (64%) failed to introduce themselves. Three-quarters of firms then did not sound “genuinely interested” in their prospective clients and the same proportion failed to ask people where they had seen the firm advertised.
“Home movers aren’t quite as price conscious as you might imagine; they’re happy to pay a fair price for a good service. Just make sure that when you’re quoting explain what value the client will get for their money.”