IRN Research suggests that there will be an influx of business-related activity following the UK’s departure from the EU. As such, it’s anticipated that both large and small UK-based businesses will see a greater demand for legal services. It’s estimated that the legal market could grow as much as 4.4%, meaning more work for legal companies. To get the most out of this heightened demand, legal firms will need to strengthen client relationships. This means ensuring that their employees have the relevant soft skills needed to make this happen.
In this blog post, we outline what soft skills are, why they’re important and how legal firms can use them to their advantage. Read on to find out more.
What are soft skills?
Soft skills are simply defined as a skill set that enables you to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people, whether that be with fellow employees or clients.
These skills include:
- Strong work ethic
- Positive attitude
- Good communication
- Time management
- Problem solving
Let’s be honest, none of these attributes come to mind when you think ‘Lawyer’. Legal firms are often criticised for ignoring skills like these when selecting their employees.
After all, the law’s the law. As long as an employee has the technical knowledge required, they can do the job well, right? Wrong. As more work becomes available to law firms, there’s a way to make sure that potential clients are choosing you over those that offer the exact same legal services. By developing soft skills among employees, it will in turn result in a better experience offered to clients.
What clients want
The standard of customer service has risen dramatically in recent years. With forward-thinking companies like Apple offering walk-in appointments with product experts, instant online or over the phone help and 24/7 contact on social media platforms, the 21st century customer is expecting the same level of customer service from other companies, including legal firms.
Historically, legal firms have a bad name when it comes to customer service. Mike Frith of Lawyerline has said that poor communication is at the centre of most complaints made against solicitors.
The modern client has come to expect instant responses from the services that they use, and legal firms who haven’t innovated their business process to meet this need are falling behind.
We’re at an age where potential customers can simply Google your company and read reviews left by past clients. Therefore, it’s crucial that your brand isn’t being tarred with this brush. Your business needs to be meeting clients’ needs and attracting new potential customers.
One of the only ways to do this in an industry which is pretty straight and narrow in terms of the service itself is through the customer experience. The law itself can’t change, but the way lawyers, solicitors and their assistants meet the needs of the client can.
This shows the importance for law firms to not only take soft skills into account, but to an extent prioritise them.
How to promote soft skills
So the question is, if your law firm is working on bettering its soft skills, how do you promote this to potential clients?
Customer experience is top of the pile when it comes to what clients want in today’s market. Whether that’s in retail, leisure or the legal field. As such, legal firms wanting to elevate their business need to reach out to their potential customers. They need to actively show them that they’re listening and taking action.
These allow potential customers to see that you’re taking the time to reach out, engage and communicate. Using your firm’s soft skills in these kinds of situations can be the difference between getting the client to use your firm and not.
People is one of 8RC’s eight pillars supporting any successful business. People, both employees and customers, need to be catered for by your company to get the business you need to achieve the results you’re aiming for.
If you would like to know more about how you can improve your business’ soft skills approach to customer service, then get in touch with 8RC today.