Client Case Studies
Russell Jones and Walker (now part of Slater & Gordon) are a leading provider of legal services and a recipient of National Firm of the Year. With this coveted recognition for legal expertise, the organisation knew that their front-end client care needed to meet and exceed demanding ‘customer’ expectations in a changing legal environment. As trusted experts in personal and corporate law it was especially important for the firm to achieve a formal and professional service tone on the phone and at their new London base, while offering a comfortable and ‘concierge’ approach which reflected the firm’s roots and diverse range of clients.
RJW engaged CXINLAW in a 12-month service improvement scheme working with the reception and client care team. Together we audited service with secret shopping, employing the outcomes to create a new client care brand and charter aligned to the firm. Key to success was thoroughly engaging the existing team in developing their service, building accountability, pride and innovative thinking to produce a distinctive and appropriate service result.
The sponsor for the scheme says of the work - “their expertise and zeal brought a new dynamic to understanding our client experience. A delightfully engaging mix of training methods reinvigorated my team’s passion and understanding of running a client-focused front of house space. Such investment has clearly demonstrated its worth – clients notice and consistently volunteer positive feedback, impacting directly on our business.”
Our team was asked by Mills & Reeve, a leading Top 50 UK law firm of 800 people, to project-manage an innovative programme of facilitated learning driven by the organisations aspiration for outstanding client service. Working with multiple sponsors, levels and functions across an 18 month period the scheme involved six offices, 90 sessions and 175 participants. Due to the strategic success of the program an application will be submitted to the UK’s National Training Awards 2011.
Employing a co-creative approach to training needs analysis, design and implementation, key insights from the internal employee engagement survey and the outcomes of an external client satisfaction audit were applied. Our team extensively consulted with decision makers, internal service partners and clients to produce a comprehensive and strategic view of the training and engagement need.
The result was a suite of short learning and networking sessions conducted on a quarterly basis for all target employees around the organisation. Each session focused on service, team pressure points and opportunities with fresh insight, engaging activities and practical objectives. Communication, sharing expertise and service awareness was an integral component of the scheme with learners creating their own content and coaching each other by-design.
This innovative approach brought about real change. Participants learnt-through-doing and by working toward a measurable goal a) to consider together how communication can be regenerated and maintained across their work groups day to day and b) to work together to create an online social channel through which to share knowledge and best practice on a day to day basis.
The programme was promoted with a variety of hard copy, online and of word of mouth campaigns within the organisation to encourage surprise, interest and commitment towards the program goals. The interactive, work-based sessions built critical employee brand competencies around communication, pro-activity, trust and responsiveness and the new online channel, a place to connect, to share know-how and to learn from each other.
In a competitive marketplace where an employer brand is the differentiator this programme actively supported the firm’s ambition for outstanding client service with engaged, motivated and skilled employees.
A panel member of our secret shopping team has a portfolio of buy to let properties and he was using a firm for a few years for all his property needs. He had a particularly good relationship with his lawyer who was always responsive and personable in his approach. He took the time to recommend the firm to many people over 10 years. After the firm merged the service experience deteriorated.
The change of lawyer was associated with a sudden change in communication style. Repeated failed attempts to contact with him resulted in a short one sentence email response. Many years of revenue earned and loyalty given to the firm didn’t seem to matter.
The shopper proceeded to call the firm up and give feedback with the aim of resolving the matter. The receptionist enquired ‘do you mean you want to make a complaint?’ and he made it clear that he just wanted to provide feedback, at which point he was passed onto the Partner who deals with complaints. Several messages were left but with no response so he contacted the Managing Partner via email. This was closely followed by a mistaken email from the Managing Partner asking the Partner who deals with complaints ‘should we take this client seriously’. The shopper became a detractor of the firm and decided to take his legal needs elsewhere.
A panel member of our secret shopping team suffered a personal injury in the summer 2012 while getting off a train. He was assigned to call a number of Personal Injury firms to assess the service experience. He found a varied experience resulting in recommending only 10% of the firms he called. Here is an overview of the findings:
- One call involved waiting on the phone for 10 minutes before putting the phone down. On trying to give feedback to the firm via the contact us page the client was ignored and there was no subsequent apology;
- Another call resulted in 2 out of 3 calls being dropped;
- 30% of the firms called led to a thorough initial assessment as opposed to the majority of firms that delivered a quickly processed initial assessment;
- 30% of firms sent through a formal letter introducing the service and delivering the outcome;
- 30% of firms never attempted to make a return call
- 10% requesting involvement from their panel of solicitors resulting in a 3 week delay on the decision and several letters out of sync with each other while setting expectations that were not met;
- 20% of them provided an instant decision on the initial call not to progress the claim any further as it was viewed unlikely to be worth the client or the firms time;
- In 10% of cases the caller was truly listened to and cared for resulting in high a level of satisfaction even though the firm decided not to proceed with the claim.