Part 2: What law firm clients want (really, really want)

I posted last week a summary of a new survey entitled “what clients really want from a legal service provider” by Peppermint Technology here.

This post will look in more detail at the answers to the some of the specific questions in the survey: the possible impact for Conveyancing solicitors and how consumers are likely to choose their Conveyancing solicitors in the future.

How do consumers go about finding a legal service provider?

5 options were given and ranked accordingly.

The most popular overall was asking a friend for a recommendation (44%); followed by an internet search (24%); then referrals from professionals such as Estate Agents Bank Managers, Accountants etc; 9% would use their High Street as the first port of call and a mere 7% would resort to local advertising.

“Online is the New High Street”

The use of internet research as the default option continues to rise so that now almost 1 in 4 people will begin their look for a Solicitor this way.

My own anecdotal evidence is that there is also a trend for validation of recommendations on the internet too.

The report suggests that law firms with limited marketing and advertising budgets would be better served by putting their spend into online media or inbound marketing as it is called rather than offline or outbound marketing.

The trick for law firms in my opinion would be to still use both but direct the traditional outbound marketing to the law firm website which then forms the hub of all online and offline marketing activities.

Peppermint Technology estimate that 69% of customers class online recommendations as trustworthy as a friend’s recommendation

What Factors were the most important when purchasing legal advice?

We can join to questions here together: If you were purchasing legal advice what factors were important and how important is it to know how much it is going to cost before instructing a solicitor.

Let’s get price out of the way first: only 6% said it was important.

But, and this a very big but for conveyancing firms 95% said knowing the total cost was important and may or would certainly influence their decision.

Those in the 45 -64 age bracket felt most strongly that it was most important with 97% saying so. With the average now of a first time buyer at 37, the 45-64 age bracket would be the most prevalent in the Conveyancing market.

The culture of fixed fees which we at Clutton Cox use for all our legal services such as Wills and Probate as well as Conveyancing has not permeated through to some law firms.

The survey shows that when law firms were interviewed the number of law firms who considered fixed fees to be of importance to private clients was only 20% where the results show it should have been nearer 43%.

In the next post I will summarise the remaining questions such as what form of communication works better; how consumers want legal services to be delivered and how solicitors and law firms view the opportunities and threats ahead.

You can view a video of the main findings of the Peppermint Technology report here or go direct to Peppermint Technology website to purchase the report for £49.99