I was talking to the CEO of our Website and SEO support provider a couple of days ago. We were having a chat about the core ideals that both of us have in terms of how we conduct business and how we look to project that through the businesses we represent. It was interesting how much the words “quality” and “service” came into nearly every point we discussed.
The reason for the conversation was that I had just experienced two terrible pieces of customer service from two well-known high-street names. This got me pondering how some businesses just don’t ‘get’ the significance of every single customer/staff interaction.
From this conversation and experience, I then thought about what we do at rhw to address client service and what our core ideals are that underpin our client service delivery. At rhw we constantly stress ‘quality of service’. Yes, other legal providers often say they also deliver ‘quality services’ but we really do focus heavily on this area.
We know what it costs in terms of hiring experienced, thoughtful and effective team members and we avoid, like the plague, the ‘sausage machine’ mentality, where clients are all treated as though they have identical matters and all that matters is getting them through the process as swiftly as possible. So, what do we actually do to ensure we deliver what we promise?
- We use the services of Insight Six to anonymously test how we handle new enquiries and the follow up to those enquiries. The feedback is given to the staff who took the calls (sometimes ‘in person’ visits) and we discuss the changes that will be made to address any issues that get mentioned in the feedback report.
- Staff are taught from the initial induction session at rhw, to treat client service as paramount to everything we do.
- We stress that when the scope of an instruction has changed, the estimated fees are likely to change or if there are any other factors that will impact the work we are doing for a client, then we must tell them about it. Transparency is vital.
- We tell the client the bad as well as the good news. If they are buying a house or going through a divorce they need to know about all aspects of the information and outcomes that occur as we go through the process. They can then make enlightened decisions.
- Online training is an essential part of staff development for EVERY member of staff. This covers all aspects of client service including money laundering, quality & diversity, cyber-crime and data handling under GDPR rules.
- We ask for feedback from the moment potential clients come into our offices. Were they welcomed properly? Were they offered a drink? Did the initial meeting meet their expectations and provide them with the information they were looking for?
- We ask all clients to provide us with feedback at the end of each matter we have undertaken for them. If we receive feedback where we believe we can make improvements moving forward, we contact the client to request further details.
- From experience we understand what it takes to deliver the best possible service for our clients. We do not get involved with trying to match the ‘lowest quote’ out there because we know what often gets delivered by those who are willing to ‘race to the bottom’ to secure work even though it makes no economic sense.
- Like any service provider we very occasionally receive complaints. These are always treated as a serious matter and we have clear and rigorous procedures in place for dealing with them.
- We are regarded as a ‘centre of excellence’ under the Law Society’s LEXCEL scheme (excellence in legal practice and client care) and we also have Legal 500 accreditation as well as quality awards for our conveyancing and private client services.
These are just some of the examples of why we think the rhw ‘experience’ is different to that offered by many other legal providers. We are always happy to receive details of client’s experiences with rhw and we always look to learn from what other businesses are doing and what innovations (where we think they will improve the client experience) are occurring in the legal sector.