One difficulty faced by High Street law firms and regulators when entering the debate about improving client experience is that often clients have no point of reference. What is a high-quality legal service? Furthermore, clients may focus on the outcome of their case, which often is not indicative of the quality of service received.
We all know the main drivers of complaints are lack of communication on progress and issues about feeling. To build out positive referrals, firms must focus on providing excellent communication on both fronts.
Nowadays, customer experience is more important than ever, alongside quality legal work. A strategy to gain significant numbers of positive referrals starts with challenging your firm’s culture: every member of the team is encouraged to question the status quo and you adopt technology in everything from client communications to your internal operations.
How to get positive referrals
As we mentioned, people often struggle to assess the quality of services provided, focusing more on outcomes. So, we reached out to Ian McNaull, Director of Operations at Jones Whyte Law, to find out how they are achieving positive word of mouth referrals, as well as 4.7 out of 5 stars from hundreds of clients on Google Business Reviews.
Why is customer experience so important to Jones Whyte?
“The first thing to say is that Google reviews are the tip of a very large iceberg. The question ‘How to get a positive referral?’ can only be answered by asking the more important question, ‘What do our clients value and how will we deliver that?’ No business can hope to grow and sustain its market position without making great customer experience a primary objective. The virtuous circle created by serving clients well, making it easy to achieve and rewarding our people for doing so, and sharing these benefits with future clients, is a simple but crucially important way of working for us at Jones Whyte.”
What steps have you taken to create a client-first culture?
“There are two things of primary importance to us: our clients and our people. We have found that if we focus on the experiences and points of value for both groups, we deliver a much better client experience at the same time as building a culture that makes Jones Whyte a great place to work. The two are very much interlinked.
“We are acutely aware that excellent customer experience is never a ‘complete’ task: it is an ever-present part of daily life in the firm. We can always do more, and we can always be better. As any business has experienced, we do get pieces of feedback that we’ve fallen short of client expectations. Acknowledging this reality helps support a culture internally that we address our shortfalls and systemise our approach to learning from, and fixing these issues. This culture is something we must continue to sustain if we are to evolve to the changing needs of our clients.”
What role does technology play in helping improve your working practices?
“We have found that tolerance for low-technology solutions is falling amongst both clients and our team here at Jones Whyte. Excellent data management, automation of tasks and high-speed response times are required in almost all aspects of how our firm operates, and Denovo’s CaseLoad is at the centre of making these things happen. A huge number of law firm activities are transactional in nature, and being able to use technology to systemise and automate these is still a key differentiator in this sector.
“Data-driven decision making is also increasingly important to improving our working practices. We are by no means the finished article, but we feel that having a coherent data structure is the foundation of gaining rapid insight from all areas of the firm, from marketing and sales to matter management to financial control. By reducing the time spent arranging data, we can spend more time on understanding what it means and how to improve our client and employee experience using new technology available in the market.”
How do you plan to improve client communication in the future?
“Automation of work is at the heart of this. We want to make it easy for our people to talk to our clients. By automation, we don’t mean automated marketing emails, but the ability for the repetitive and time-consuming elements of all our processes to be removed, to break down the barriers that prevent great communication from happening naturally. We are building processes into our Denovo system to tell us when a client needs further communication and what we ought to be saying, making it an easy medium to be able to communicate on seamlessly. We are also in talks with Denovo about introducing The Link App. It’s a communication tool which lets the client feel in control. The app integrates with CaseLoad and allows instant messaging, digital client onboarding, case milestone tracking and document sharing.”
Interested in learning more about how Denovo can help improve working practices to assist with client communication? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0141 331 5290 and see why some of the most successful law firms in Scotland use Denovo as their whole practice management software solution.
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