Are new Pricing Regulations reducing the quality of legal services being offered?
A recent Bellwether Report from LexisNexis explores new concerns that the recent SRA regulations regarding pricing transparency could actually be doing more harm to Law firms as they feel services must be compromised in order to provide a cheaper rate for clients.
So what’s the problem?
The report states that there is a growing tension between clients and law firms, regarding the delivery of legal service – with the consumer becoming more informed and more confident in asking for what they want.
There is now increasing pressure on firms to reduce costs in order to try and gain more clients. With this comes a fear that this is, in turn, driving down the quality of the legal advice being given.
The provision of what customers want, and how they want it delivered, is changing the practice of modern law. As is the case in many of the more ‘traditional’ industries – There are now stark contrasts between law firms who are stuck in the past, and modern clients who are looking for legal service providers who understand their needs.
"Price in the law, like in any other service industry, is an important factor in the consumer’s decision making. As the consumer becomes more savvy and well educated in the alternatives available, value will be critical with price often being the determining factor in delivering this."
ED FLETCHER, Chief Executive, Fletchers Solicitors
So if a firm doesn’t want to compromise on service and lower their prices, they need to be looking at innovative ways in which they can enhance what they’re offering. The must do this whilst also setting themselves apart from the market where 33% of business is won on price.
How do your clients feel about your service?
Look at the language on which you sell your service and cross compare to your competition. Is your messaging like for like? If so potential clients will not see or feel a difference between you and your competition.
Think about how you make prospective clients feel about your service? From their first touch point right through to the successful handover to another area of the business or matter closure. What is the story you take your customer on throughout the course of a singular or multiple matter(s)?
What is your client’s ‘no brainer’ in choosing your service?
I don’t want to lower my prices – what are my options?
So how do you make the necessary changes to remain competitive, but at the same time, protect your integrity and the quality of your service? The answer may be to consider other ways to increase your firm’s efficiency behind the scenes. This could include simple solutions such as making sure your Case Management System is up to date, taking advantage of any integrations being offered or investing in new technology such as mobile apps.
"People are more willing to accept seniority as rationale for higher prices along with an expected level of personal service rather than automation"
Doing this means cases can be completed in less time (therefore being cheaper for the client). It also means there is no need to compromise on the level of service being given. In fact in most cases the service offered to clients is actually enhanced. By improving or streamlining back office and administrative processes, fee earners are able to focus on things that add value to the clients, such as a more personal level of care, or innovative ways for them to monitor their case progress.
If a client is new to Legal Services, then it is likely they will not have much prior knowledge on which to make their selection. This is probably why price is becoming such a deciding factor. However if a client is unsure then they will check reviews and previous customer feedback to support their decision. This is where the added value comes into play as a point of differentiation.
For more information about the SRA Regulations – and how legal technology innovations such as The Link App, can help add value to your client experience see our previous blog on the subject here: https://thelinkapp.co.uk/new-pricing-regulations-to-shake-up-legal-industry/
The full Bellwether report can be read here: http://www.lexisnexis.co.uk/pdf/bellwether-2019-the-changing-face-of-law.pdf