Sunday 13 January 2013

Mr and Mrs Conveyancing Client 'Please Complain' !

Acquiring and processing client feedback is a choice for many conveyancing firms but should you be inviting criticism?

I believe the answer is "of course." While the reasons for not inviting criticism might be of interest in a high-turnover business, it is difficult to imagine a cogent argument for not keeping clients happy (including finding out what you can do to improve) in the conveyancing business.

Here are some of the reasons to hide from client feedback:

  • Inviting disgruntled clients to call or write to someone who will actually take action will encourage them to become more disgruntled. After-all a complaint to the LeO will now result in an automatic penalty.  If no one is listening, the thinking goes, then perhaps the annoyed client will quietly go away. The home buying process is known to be a stressful process perhaps you should just let the clients put the whole process behind them rather than stoke the fire.
  • It is very expensive to listen to squeaky wheels, particularly if you have someone in authority (as you would do if it is the COLP) actually listening and responding.
  • You might believe that the noisy minority don't share the objectives of the rest of your client base, particularly the higher-paying and silent majority.

On the other hand, you might consider that :

  • Client feedback in real time is a competitive advantage which will help you grow.
  • That new entrants into the market, particularly ABS’s will be obtaining feedback and will therefore be better informed.
  • That assuaging an unhappy customer now is worth way more than negative word of mouth later or permanent negative mark on the internet if the client registers their complaint on-line.
  • By undertaking and analysing satisfaction data and acting upon the outcomes of those analyses the firm is able to evidence to the SRA that is a firm building a sound business.

Whichever strategy you choose, you should choose. Don’t sit on the fence pretending as you get none of the benefits of either plan.

If you want your conveyancing clients to speak up, be clear and mean it.

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