Has Lockdown Changed The Way People Interact With The Legal Sector?

As the UK adjusted to life in lockdown, the way people contacted the legal sector with enquiries, seemed to shift from the traditional telephone route, to online chat.

Moneypenny, which handles more than 2 million legal calls and live chats each year for more than 1,000 legal firms in the UK, have shared with Today’s Conveyancer, some insights they’ve had with regards to the volume of live chats and phone calls happening in the legal sector.

Although, I thought there may have been an increase in conversations happening outside the normal 9-5 work times, Moneypenny assure us that this isn’t their experience. This could be as a result of people adapting to remote working and juggling other commitments such as childcare and home schooling.

Bernadette Bennett, Commercial Manager for Legal at Moneypenny said:

“The volume of calls to law firms is about 15% behind pre-lockdown levels. This may sound worrying, however, in some sectors such as the property and automotive industries they are 50% behind, others are 40% behind. So, the legal sector as a whole seems to be in a really good place.

“However, the volume of live chats to law firms is 15% higher than pre-lockdown levels. So, it appears that those who may no longer be calling are switching to a different communication channel.”

Notably, the times that most people made their enquiries has shifted, this could once again coincide with their priorities as people embrace the new remote work/life balance.

Morning telephone enquiries seemingly have been pushed back towards the middle of the day (11am – 12noon), and afternoon enquiries seem the busiest usually around the time of the school run (3pm – 4pm). A similar trend can also be seen in the live chat enquiries in the sector.

Bernadette added:

“With live chats we are also seeing a slower start in the morning now. The busiest hour for legal chats used to be 10am, it’s now 12noon. We’ve seen this in other sectors too where people might be using their lunch time to contact businesses or manage administrative tasks. The second busiest hour for chats is now 5pm, whereas it was 3pm.”

If we thought the result of lockdown would mean more and more people would be contacting legal service suppliers outside of the traditional 9-5 working day we were mistaken.

Seemingly, over the past 100+ days in lockdown people have adapted exceedingly well to ensuring their ‘admin’ is being done. The slight shift in the times can result in other priorities taking centre stage, but it doesn’t fuel the need for legal sectors to operate an out of hours service.

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