What do law firm clients want in 2023? We've got the answers

What do law firm clients want in 2023? We've got the answers

View profile for Sophia Stancer
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What are clients seeking from law firms? While we may speculate, how frequently do we have the chance to engage directly with clients and receive authentic feedback about needs and expectations?

The Law Firm Marketing Club (LFMC) recently completed its fourth year of the 'What Clients Want' research, in which the following themes are explored:

 What’s important to clients when choosing a law firm.

 What clients expect to see online.

 The emotions clients have at the start and end of a matter.

 What clients expect when dealing with a law firm.

 First impressions when contacting a law firm.

 Value &Experience: How did law firms deliver to client’s expectations?

Our 2023 research delves into the experiences of 668 participants hailing from all corners of the UK.

The LFMC has been intentional about revisiting familiar inquiries from the previous year, expanding our focus to include questions about clients' onboarding experiences. Specifically, if a client engaged with a law firm more than once, we sought to understand whether they remained loyal to the same firm and, if not, the reasons behind this choice.

This report presents the comprehensive findings, meticulously dissecting responses based on relevant factors, such as client type (business versus individual), age brackets, and the history of their interactions with law firms over the preceding year.

What Clients Want 2023 comprises data from 668 participants across the UK, spanning diverse age ranges from 18 to 80, maintaining a balanced gender distribution of 52% female and 48% male.

The participants' varied experience with law firms is delineated as follows: 24% have never engaged with a law firm, 27% interacted in the past year, 21% within the last 1-5 years, and 28% more than 5 years ago.

Additionally, a mix of legal matters types emerges, with 61% exclusively dealing with personal matters, 28% focusing solely on business affairs.

Exploring the nuances of clients' experiences with law firms, the research uncovers that 47% of respondents engaged with a law firm on a single occasion, 45% between 2-5 times, and a mere 8% more than 6 times.

Among repeat clients, 59% remained loyal to the same law firm, shedding light on the factors influencing the 41% who opted for different firms. Interestingly, 79% of business clients exhibited loyalty by consistently choosing the same law firm, prompting reflections on the dynamics between law firms and individual clients.

First impressions, a pivotal aspect of client-law firm interactions, reveal a positive trend in improvement across various channels. However, a critical evaluation notes that only 53% of law firms succeeded in making a brilliant or good first impression, particularly in the digital realm—an area demanding increased attention.

The exploration of generational disparities elucidates distinct preferences in digital channels, with 59% of individuals under 30 reporting a positive impression through social media, compared to a mere 12% of those over 60. This calls for a tailored strategy accommodating diverse age groups' preferences, emphasising the importance of adaptability in service offerings.

The full What Clients Want 2023 report, packed with data, insights and recommendations will be shared with LFMC members (all 50+ pages of it) from 6 December.

If you’re not a LFMC member and would like a copy you have two choices – become a member (currently £1,200+VAT for 12 months) or buy a copy of the report for £450+VAT (£600+VAT after 13 December).

Feel free to email me at sophia@conscious.co.uk for more information.

With thanks to Moneypenny for sponsoring this research. Moneypenny provides tailored answering services for the legal sector. Over 1,000 firms rely on Moneypenny’s Outsourced Switchboard, Outbound Calling and Live Chat solutions to enhance the client experience and ensure every new enquiry is captured. Superpowered by their leading-edge technology and integrated with Microsoft Teams, they give you dedicated receptionists from their 95-strong legal team to look after client communications in partnership with law firm's own receptionists or on a 24/7 fully outsourced basis.