Is it possible to provide a great reception to potential new customers while simultaneously delivering an exceptional service to your existing clients?
This can be an onerous challenge to fee earners working in a law firm where they are expected to not only manage a high case load but also win new business. For them it means that every time a new enquiry is passed to them, they have to stop serving their paying customers in order to win future clients, with the inevitable result of slower performance.
In any other profession, new business and on-boarding is dealt with by a sales tem or designated member of staff, freeing up the highly trained experts to focus only on fee-paying clients. Each new enquiry is carefully handled to maximise the chance of winning the work. So why do some solicitors and conveyancers still continue to do all the quoting themselves?
Consider how you would feel if you had paid a very large sum of money to eat in a fine dining restaurant and the chef kept coming out of the kitchen to answer the phone or to welcome other diners on arrival? Or maybe a top hairdresser who repeatedly stopped attending to you to book in new appointments and greet people who walked in? The only difference in these examples is that the action to leave you unattended is visible and so easier to call out.
Not all fee earners are natural sales people and many do not like selling, preferring to demonstrate their expertise with active clients.
Failure to effectively manage the conflict between winning new business and delivering a great service could result in a failure to succeed in either area, with a negative impact on revenue, reputation and repeat business.
A number of law firms have recognised the need to change and have separated sales from operations to ensure that their service to their clients is unencumbered by any responsibility to be front of house.
If this is something you are looking to address in your law firm, now could be the time to create your dedicated sales department, focused only on rolling out the red carpet for all new enquiries. Quoting, recording lead source and following up can all be managed, measured and improved but there are other clear benefits including:
Improved productivity and efficiency by delivery of service without interruption
Evaluation of your marketing campaigns so you know what drives new clients to get in touch
The knowledge of why you win and why you lose, giving you valuable insight into your competition
Creating the warmth of welcome you would expect if you were the customer.