Time challenge: how law firms can keep up with new business demands

Legal professionals are too busy to win new business, despite the average case value being almost £4,000, according to a new industry report.

A new industry report has surveyed 250 senior decision makers within UK law firms of all disciplines and revealed that 93 per cent of firms struggle to handle new inquiries due to lack of time and resource.

Compared with five years ago, the findings also state that 82 per cent of firms report an increase in inquiry volumes, 69 per cent of firms say it’s harder to generate new leads and 81 per cent spend more on marketing – despite only 49 per cent having an in-house marketing director or manager.

Fewer than 1 per cent of firms have enough people and processes in place to ensure they rarely miss a new inquiry. This just demonstrates that the biggest threat to growth is a lack of time. With many staff on furlough, layoffs likely and vast commercial pressures, firms simply can’t afford to miss out on new business leads.

84 per cent of firms report that more of these calls are happening out of hours than they were five years ago and 38 per cent of all legal calls are new leads. Encouragingly, 97 per cent of firms would try new technology to drive more inquiries.

Pull quote: ‘Now legal firms have many more channels of promotion than a decade ago….and sustaining growth is tough for the future…’

Nowadays, legal marketing is industry in its own right and firms have access to many more channels of promotion than they did a decade ago. Digital is a bigger, busier medium and unsurprisingly, 80 per cent of attorneys use social media for professional purposes.

However, it’s often argued that the sector is oversaturated and as a result, firms are having to put a lot more effort and creativity into generating new business. Sustaining growth is tough, and for an industry that has traditionally relied on word of mouth and referrals, ensuring new marketing channels deliver is a challenge.

38 per cent of law firms’ new leads turn into new clients or cases – many of which originate via the phone or company websites, so improving inquiry handling is an easy place to start. With the right outsourced technology in place and simple improvements to call handling, out of hours cover and live chat, firms can start to see a positive impact on marketing ROI – generating greater returns on each dollar spent, without any real impact on their in-house resource.

A copy of the report can be downloaded here.

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