First4Lawyers: Staying competitive in personal injury

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In as competitive a market as personal injury, standing out from the crowd is exactly what you need to do, says Qamar Anwar of First4Lawyers

As an industry under what can feel like never-ending scrutiny, and with a backdrop of political uncertainty, it can be difficult for those of us operating in the personal injury sector to feel focused on and certain about our goals. How can we be, when who knows what the next month will bring—whether it be changes to how we are regulated, or fundamental changes to how the sector operates, such as the Civil Liability Bill?

However, difficult as it may be, it can often be these times of uncertainty that provide the ideal time for us to look inwards and examine our own business practices. Are we staying on top of our game? Are we delivering the best client experience? Are we adapting to changing client needs?

With this in mind, over the summer we ran some research to look at just how law firms are handling client contacts. The result was our latest whitepaper, Converting Clients: Calls, Clicks and Cash, which discusses in detail the performance of law firms in dealing with client contacts, and goes on to highlight the dos and don’ts of how to sell yourself to clients, along with an action plan to improve how you do it.

One of the more striking findings was that law firms often fail to outline the key benefits of actually using them. It’s as if they assume the client somehow knows how great they are and does not need to be persuaded that this is the firm for them.

The reality, of course, is that in as competitive a market as personal injury, that is exactly what you need to do. What are your key differentiators/selling points? You could talk about the level of service the client can expect to receive, as well as any added value your firm can offer, such as particular experience of dealing with this type of claim.

Think about what you would want as a consumer. Indeed, we recommend that you carry out your own mystery shopping—it could be an eye-opener, but it will give you the feedback you need to be able to make improvements in the areas that need it most.

People want to be wanted and to know that you will value them. That comes from showing empathy with their situation, as well as determination to fight on their behalf.

It may be that you need to carry out an internal audit of how you deal with incoming contacts and how you convert them—we recommend creating accurate records so that you assess who does it well and who less so. Make sure that you put your client at the centre of the review—could your processes be improved to make it easier for them? Training may well then be necessary as part of any improvement plan.

You’ll need to keep the plan under review to see where you’re making progress, and be sure to celebrate your successes with your team. Don’t rest on your laurels.

Qamar Anwar is managing director at First4Lawyers

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Mark Dugdale is the editor of Claims Media. Mark welcomes articles, letters or feedback from readers and can be reached via mark.dugdale@barkerbrooks.co.uk