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Law firms are losing clients through poor customer service

Survey finds systemic failures in managing client communications

27 March 2014

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By Manju Manglani, Editor (@ManjuManglani)

Law firms are failing to manage client communications in an effective manner, according to European research into customer service.

The study, which garnered responses from 225 medium-sized law firms, found that 68 per cent receive the majority of their client enquiries on paper. But, 53 per cent wait for clients to follow these up by phone before taking any action.

Close to three quarters of responding law firms (70 per cent) admitted that they don't have a process for dealing with incoming paper.

A further 69 per cent said they don't have a centralised client relationship management (CRM) system to store incoming enquiries from channels like online, phone, social media and paper in a single client profile.

"Customers expect the company they're doing business with to have instant access to a single, comprehensive view of their history with the firm," said Charlotte Marshall, UK managing director of Iron Mountain, which commissioned the survey.

"Businesses that fail to integrate paper into their customer relationship management systems are going to lose out."

The survey found that 37 per cent of law firms are unsure about what to do with written enquiries and so simply file them.

More than half (58 per cent) manually enter data into automated CRM systems. A third actively discourage clients from sending them hard copy letters.

Thirty-four per cent reported that they often have to deal with angry customers whose correspondence they have lost.

Opinion Matters surveyed 1,257 office workers in the manufacturing, engineering, legal, financial, pharmaceutical and insurance sectors in the UK, France, Germany, Netherlands and Spain in February 2014.



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