Adams: firms recognise importance of new channels of communication with clients

Clients view fixed fees and online access to the progress of their case – but not brand names – as key elements of legal services they would buy, according to unique new research.

It also revealed that law firms see other practices closing as a result of alternative business structures and legal aid cuts as a key opportunity in the coming months and years.

The surveys, conducted by Peppermint Technology, polled 1,017 consumers, 150 businesses of between 75 and 3,000 employees, and 167 law firms.

The full results will be released at next month’s Legal Futures Conference, and delegates will receive the report for free (normal price £50).

Potential clients were asked how they would go about finding a legal services provider, the key factors that influence their decision, questions around communicating with their solicitor and the role of fixed fees. The law firms were asked how they thought their clients viewed these questions and about what they considered their main opportunities and threats.

Arlene Adams, CEO of Peppermint Technology, said: “From the research it looks like the law firms do recognise the importance of being able to provide their services via new channels and do view technology investment as important in achieving this.

“The research also tells us that individual clients want a variety of ways and multiple channels to deal with their legal services provider. But critical to this is consistent service across all channels.

“Rather than looking at bolting something on to their existence practices to make them a bit better, firms need to ask themselves: ‘If I were setting the law firm up today, what would I do to deliver what customers want?’”

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