Gaining a competitive edge

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Words provided by Zaliet

Complacency is one of the biggest threats to your firm. And unfortunately, too many firms do not realise this until it is too late. Successful firms, however, understand that growth cannot occur without embracing change and taking a proactive approach.

Akin to growth is differentiation - the factor that sets your firm apart. It is nearly impossible to gain a competitive edge without dedication to your firm’s unique value proposition. If you are not sure where to begin, consider the following tips:

Adopt self-service software 

Self-service technology is your firm’s answer to meeting clients’ increasingly high standards. It is a new approach to client support – a way to keep your clients engaged with your firm and provide them with the experience they want.

By the time someone calls your firm, you have already missed a potential chance to provide a solution. With a solid online presence, a prospective client would have been able to contact your firm online either via an enquiry form or appointment booking engine.

Self-service software can act as your virtual 24/7 assistant. Clients can access your firm outside of regular business hours and from anywhere around the world.

Prospective clients can get in touch with your firm easily, view price lists and enter their personal information through online instruction forms – eliminating the need to attend appointments early.

For your firm, the benefits are endless. Not only do you establish yourself as an industry leader but you have the ability to significantly reduce your non-billable hours.

Many of the features available through self-service help to improve your workflow, as the client does the work for you. You can streamline your data entry, reduce mundane tasks, i.e., answering the same questions, and capture enquiries outside of business hours.

Another drawcard is firm efficiency. Research indicates online instruction forms saves a whopping 15 mins of administrative time per matter - that is roughly £48,225 p.a. (based on 1000 matters per year, billed at £440 per matter on an hourly solicitor’s rate of £190 and a bookkeeper’s rate of £44). Integration with your practice management software also reduces time that would otherwise be spent manually entering data.

Be transparent in all your actions

The SRA has conducted research into client expectations and behaviour and found increasingly that transparency is a deciding factor when choosing a firm. To make informed decisions, having the necessary information available and easy to access is key.

Research shows that many consumers in the legal industry consider quality then price when choosing a legal provider. By displaying your prices, you will provide consumers with a broader vision of your firm and a chance for them to determine value for money.

Prominently displaying your prices allows potential clients to come to trust you before engaging with your firm’s services. Not to mention your firm will also comply with the recent mandatory SRA transparency regulations.

Become experts in client service

It’s an old adage and for good reason - but clients will remember the service you provide more than the price. So how do you come out on top? Show courtesy in every interaction and provide them with modern day conveniences. Features such as online payments and appointment scheduling are almost expected of your firm, so why not provide clients with the experience they are seeking.

From the moment the clients walk through the door until the matter (no matter how big or small) is completed, keep the client fully and repeatedly informed about the progress of the matter. By doing so, you will consistently demonstrate how your firm values your client.

Visit Zaliet at stand 670 to discuss how your firm can get ahead with self-service technology.

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