How Do You Find The Right Solicitor? See How They Deal With Your Initial Enquiry
(Posted on 04/02/20)
You’ll see plenty of legal articles dotted around the internet that offer advice on how how to find the right solicitor when you need one. Indeed, Alistair Worth our Managing Director at Mooneerams Solicitors has written a blog in which he gives his views on how to go about finding the right personal injury solicitor.
Ever since Mooneerams Solicitors first office opened for business in 2002, we have specialised in acting on behalf of people who have been injured in accidents. Mooneerams celebrates its 18th birthday later this year and Alistair was there at the very start of the journey. Along the way, he has gained a fair bit of insight into what makes a good personal injury law firm.
If you find yourself in the position of having to take on, or ‘instruct’, a solicitor to help you with a legal matter, it can be a daunting task, if you haven’t had to use a lawyer before. Doing a bit of research yourself, by searching for a suitable solicitor online, may well be your preferred starting point.
Restricting your research to finding out more about solicitors who specialise in the area of law that applies to the matter on which you need advice, is always the right thing to do. Equally, making some enquiries of the firms whose websites ‘you like the look of’, after having carried out your initial research, is important. Not only is it important – it’s a must!
According to the solicitors governing body, the SRA, there are approximately 140,000 practising solicitors in England and Wales. There is no shortage of choice for the consumer, when it comes to deciding which solicitor to entrust with your legal affairs. It’s very much a ‘buyers’ market’.
Most solicitors’ firms recognise that fact and know only too well that the competition to attract new clients is fiercer than ever before. For this reason, millions of pounds are spent each year by lawyers on marketing. As anyone reading this blog will probably agree, there is no shortage of highly visible advertising being done by solicitors on TV, radio, in newspapers and on social media.
You would therefore be forgiven for thinking that when a prospective new client answers a ‘call to action’ from a particular law firm, by filling in a contact form on their website, or by picking up the phone to call them, the very least that the customer could expect would be that:
- They will be able to speak to someone who conveys a great first impression of the firm in that they are courteous, professional, friendly and genuinely interested in helping the prospective new client, and;
- That person will be able to put the caller though to a solicitor, who has the requisite legal knowledge, right away.
- If for whatever reason, a solicitor cannot speak to the caller straightaway, a call back will be promised and will be made, promptly, or
- If the prospective client calls outside normal business hours, they will still be able to make contact with the firm via an out of hours service, or;
- If they leave a message on the firms’ answerphone, they will get a call back, at the very least, on the next working day.
Sadly, the results of a recent survey, which were revealed in an article on the legal website Legal Futures, suggest that a significant number of law firms are falling down badly, when it comes to providing an acceptable ‘first contact’ service.
The survey was carried out on behalf the cloud-based telephony company, Concert. It found that, of the law firms who were called during a ‘mystery shopping’ exercise:
- Only 9% of the firms called, followed up on the enquiry.
- Only 50% of the firms called, managed to put the caller through to someone who could actively assist the caller with their enquiry.
In 2018 the same research company carried out a similar mystery shopping initiative. The results of that assignment left the researchers with ‘a sense that the law firms contacted, didn’t really want their custom.’ One researcher who asked repeatedly for the name of the person to whom they were speaking, was met with the response that ‘it didn’t matter’ because she was ‘going on lunch shortly’.
Yet another ‘mystery shopping’ exercise found that 18% of lawyers contacted out of hours by researchers, didn’t even have the facility for the caller to leave a message.
There are many factors to take into account when choosing a solicitor to act on your behalf. Given the findings of the research studies highlighted in this article, making sure that your initial enquiry is dealt with competently should be at the top of your list! If a solicitors practice can’t even provide this basic level of client care right, you could be forgiven for wondering what level of legal service you would receive, were you to ultimately instruct them to act on your behalf.
At Mooneerams, we pride ourselves on our exemplary levels of customer service. Most of our new clients come to us because they have been recommended by existing clients or even by other solicitors. Therefore, the way that we look after our clients, from first contact through to conclusion of their personal injury claim, has to be exemplary – and we make sure that it is.
If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, then we’d be delighted to take your call on 029 2048 3615 to see if we can help you. Your enquiry is important to us and will be dealt with professionally and courteously. You will be put through to a solicitor straightaway or if all happen to be busy with other clients at the time that you call, you will be called back promptly. That’s our promise!
Writen by Carl Waring who is an experienced claimant personal injury solicitor, having been qualified for over 35 years. He is a freelance legal writing consultant and Head of Business Development at Mooneerams, the Personal Injury Solicitors.
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