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Solicitors… How To Stop Client Complaints Now!

Irrespective of the numerous regulatory measures put in place by The SRA, client complaints are sadly still increasing.

Many articles and The Press refer to “managing complaints more effectively”.  Wouldn’t it be preferable to stop complaints?

The shocking statistics from LeO for the period 12/13 show the top 3 areas of complaints were Communications (34%), Progress (30%) and Costs (16%).  In my opinion, those complaints are avoidable.  That’s 80% of all complaints eradicated – how?

Phase 1
Start by using your file review system effectively.  It is pivotal to complaint reduction, as well as improving your profits.  Most firms have not caught on to the opportunities available to them by having an effective internal file review system.  Based on my experience of reviewing files for over 420 law firms, the average improvement in fee earner performance and subsequent profits is a whopping 44%.

Phase 2
In conjunction with your file review system analyse the complaints (or grumbles!) you’ve received from clients over the last 12 months.

Categorise them into 4 problem groups:

  1. Communication

  2. Progress

  3. Costs

  4. Other

Phase 3
The last category of “Other” may need more careful analysis and understanding.  It is likely to contain the least number of complaints, but may give you pertinent information.

Take the following 5 steps to start reducing your complaints straightaway:

  1. Identify the trends for each of the categories above.

  2. Identify the cause of the trends – it may be a management issue, system problem, lack of training, or an errant fee earner.

  3. Create an Action Plan for each trend to put in place precise, objective systems, processes, procedures and training to make sure those complaints cannot happen again.

  4. Monitor the system.

  5. “Rinse and Repeat”.

Improved Fee Earner Performance = Reduced Complaints = Increased Profitability

Gail has managed law firm improvement based on the results of over 45,000 file reviews from more than 400 firms.  She was the managing director of an outsourced file review company and has trained lawyers how to review files effectively.  Gail’s focus is on creating successful businesses.  She works with law firms advising on how to obtain the most benefit from file reviews.

If you would like to discuss without obligation and in confidence how I can help you, please contact me.