To coincide with today's Legal Futures conference on the Legal Services Act, Peppermint Technology has published the results of a survey it has conducted into what clients really want from their legal service providers. The survey presents the opinions of over 1000 consumers, 150 UK businesses and more than 160 law firms and the accompanying report is written by Orange Rag editor Charles Christian. Key themes to emerge are…

Know Your Clients: Despite law firms’ spend on brand awareness, prime office locations and advertising, 44% of consumers rate a friend’s recommendation as the most important factor in finding a lawyer. Their second most popular choice is searching the web. Conversely, the web is the least likely source for a business to find a legal service provider with 77% preferring to use a lawyer they had used before.

Clicks & Data not Bricks & Mortar: Clients care very little about the physical location of law firm offices with only 3% of businesses and 6% of consumers ranking it as an important factor when purchasing legal advice. In contrast, legal firms recognise the importance clients place on technology with 100% of legal practices believing that technology plays a key role in the firm’s success; and 87% acknowledging that having a system that provides them with a single customer view, is important or critical to the growth and success of the business.

One size does not fit all: There is no one-size-fits-all approach to what clients want, confirming that legal service providers must invest more in understanding client needs. For example, 81% of consumers are in favour of an out-of-hours service, whilst 96% of businesses favour the option to communicate online. The telephone is the second most popular channel for both groups.

The research was commissioned by Peppermint Technology in association with Microsoft, NatWest Business Banking, Epoq and Oyez Professional Services.  Anyone wanting to purchase a copy of the report or more information should visit www.pepperminttechnology.co.uk/what-clients-want

Peppermint Technology CEO, Arlene Adams said “The results of the survey clearly demonstrate that client needs are varied and the ability of a legal service provider to respond to this will become a key competitive asset. Ultimately, as in other markets, the customer experience will play a more important factor in defining the winners and losers in the brave new world of legal services.

“The research supports Peppermint’s view that a successful law firm of the future will be one that delivers a consistent and highly personalised service, across multiple delivery channels, at a predictable price point and at all times of the day. In order to do this they will need to invest in underpinning their business with a client centric technology platform.”

And here's a little video from Peppermint…