What really matters for conveyancing clients?
The first in our SRA Risk Outlook series, looking at access to services and how clarity is the best policy.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) pride themselves on striving to achieve the best quality of service for the public and seeking to make legal services attainable for all.
With only a third of people seeking professional advice and very few actually going to a solicitor (1 in 10) according to the Risk Outlook 2016, provision of information and clarity over pricing seem to be the crux of the issue.
According to the SRA, 81% of people perceive the justice system as being intimidating, so it’s crucial for legal professionals such as yourself to stand up and ensure everyone is able to receive the support they need.
Access to services – overview
Having been a judge in a number of conveyancing awards, I have personally witnessed the acceptance by heads of conveyancing of what is required and the amount of effort put into truly knowing the needs of the client. The SRA state that those seeking legal services are concerned about cost, locality, and lack of clarity which is particularly relevant within conveyancing. Both the Risk Outlook report and a recent YouGov survey have concluded 75% and 69% respectively consider cost to be an important factor.
Looking from a specifically conveyancing perspective, this high concern is contradicted by the 2015 Home Moving Trends survey, conducted by tmgroup. Here, the respondents were more concerned about service provision such as effective communication (85%) with price being an important factor for less than a quarter (23%).
Access to services – actions
Be clear about pricing. Not only do new clients require this information, potential clients also need to see what they are getting for their money. Many conveyancing firms break this down in the client letter but in order to attract new business, this needs to be done much earlier in the sales process. This will mitigate many of the risks surrounding cost perception, competitor comparisons and giving clear value.
Phrase and structure wording for consumers, not legal professionals. This is a common trend for conveyancers. Granted you do need to make sure all the boxes are ticked for due diligence and regulatory matters, but in order to help eradicate the risks associated with access to legal services, consumers and current clients need to fully understand what is happening during the process and for what reasons. The Crystal Mark accreditation is a great place to start, and shows you put the needs of your clients at the forefront of your business strategy.
Empower people to make the right decision. By highlighting your unique selling points (USPs) early on in the sales process, whether that be on your website, local news, or brochures this will allow potential clients to view your firm as the standout choice. Make it easy for them to see how and why these services are required, what this means for them and exactly how much it will cost.