A recent report by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) has found that the public have severe misunderstandings and negative attitudes toward legal service providers. In particular, perceptions of affordability deter many people from using legal service providers.
BSB research has found that a staggering 63% of the UK population do not believe that professional legal advice is an affordable option. Similar research from the Legal Services Board also found ‘perceived high costs’ as one of the main barriers to consumers and home movers accessing legal services.
Failing to provide instant and accessible information will only perpetuate this stereotype further. Consumers require full and instant information when it is most convenient for them.
Some legal service firms have embraced price reform that was introduced late last year by the Council for Licenced Conveyancers (CLC) and Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA), viewing it as a potential opportunity rather than regulatory systems that require conformity. Conveyancing specialists Fletcher Longstaff have been advocates of providing clear customer information and have thrived as a result.
Adam Cheal, Managing Partner at Fletcher Longstaff, commented: “From the moment I set up the firm, it has always been the case of trying to be as open and as clear with clients as possible. If you can’t give a price, especially in today’s conveyancing world, then you will struggle.
“There are a lot of firms that might offer a good price for conveyancing but then when clients seem to get a bit further down to the small print, extras start appearing. You can see things like expediting fees being added. You should really be able to give a transparent price to clients.”
“A lot of firms are missing out on new business. We have always had a pricing calculator on our website to attract new business out of hours because, unfortunately, no matter how many clients that want you to work twenty-four hours a day, you can’t be there all the time.
“Technology and the use of web calculators, like the one used by Perfect Portal is beneficial for a number of reasons. Firstly, it adheres to the new regulations in terms of having instant pricing for clients from the website at any time of the day which helps us attract new business as we can add associated documentation to it and give a quote instantly.
“We are able to track consumer trends. A lot of our business comes through between seven and eleven at night, sometimes even later, because this timeframe fits in with the consumers work-life balance. When we are not in the office, that sort of technology is able to assist and enable us to pick up additional work.”
Yvonne, Hirons, CEO of Perfect Portal, said: “Price transparency is a hot topic at the moment. Home movers have evolved in their behaviour which is actually driven by technology. If you consider how we consume things today for example, we want information up front.
“If we take the example of the company Uber; they provide an accurate and immediate price. Whereas other forms of taxi services, especially companies around our area, require you to call and ask; even then the response is just an estimated cost. Uber has grown all because of the technology they possess. It gives instant answers. This technology and the desire for people to have this fixed information from the get-go has permeated into all industries, all professions, including the legal market.”
Law firms should view the transparent publication of prices as a clear opportunity as opposed to regulatory compliance. Transparent and instant information, available when the consumer demands it, will improve contact with potential clients that could convert into actual business.
If you are looking for a technologically driven way to remain relevant, adhere to transparency regulations and potentially improve conversion rates by 70%, then your company deserves the service that Perfect Portal can provide.