Mystery Shopping is used by law firms to assess how effectively incoming enquiries are handled. There is often a feeling that money invested in business development and marketing to generate incoming enquiries – telephone, email or web generated – from prospective clients (lead generation) is failing to generate the best possible returns (ROI).
The issue invariably is not the number of enquiries generated but of converting more of these enquiries into additional, new, profitable instructions (i.e. lead conversion).
Experience of making hundreds of ‘mystery shopping’ calls and then working directly with client firms suggests that more often than not the call is handled reasonably well at reception level but thereafter there is no real engagement with the prospective client. Client perception is key, the opportunity is won, or too often lost, on this first contact. In many firms, staff have not been properly trained in how best to handle these opportunities in a way that engages effectively with the prospective client.
Better handling of this initial contact will lead to a significant improvement in opportunity conversion rates generating additional income and profit for the firm.
In order to quantify the scale of the problem, a ‘Mystery Shopping’ exercise gives pin-sharp feedback to the Partners about how incoming enquiries are actually handled day to day across offices and departments, where improvement is necessary and lead to consideration with Executive Management as to how best this can be achieved.
A ‘Mystery Shopping’ exercise needs to be properly pre-planned with Management by way of an initial discussion to understand just what is required and agreeing how to proceed. It is important not to arouse suspicion of staff handling the enquiries so that they don’t then begin to question what is happening.
Each point of contact (email, web-form, telephone call) then needs to be planned meticulously. Each department will need a different scenario, with differing contact details, fictitious name etc. All contacts are recorded (in the case of telephone calls, with permission by the firm, digitally recorded for playback), responses analysed, categorised and scored in a detailed confidential Report to Management, delivered in person.
Should the ‘Mystery Shopping’ exercise reveal that a significant improvement can be made in the enquiry conversion rate, the crucial next step is for staff to be properly trained in how to handle incoming enquiries to improve performance. Legal Mentors, having conducted the mystery shopping exercise and, therefore, first hand experience, is uniquely placed to go on to help the client achieve their improvement objectives by designing and rolling-out an agreed programme of bespoke training. Training workshops are based around the Legal Mentors proven ‘6 Steps Process’ ensuring that staff improve their handling of incoming enquiries and increase conversion rates.
With no increase in business development spend, possibly even a reduced spend, the Legal Mentors training will help team members to convert more opportunities into valuable instructions, often with better pricing than previously and potentially the winning of more of the higher value instructions available. The increase in fee income generated should lead to significantly improved profit for the business.
Legal Mentors works exclusively in the legal sector and specialises in conducting ‘mystery shopping’ exercises for law firms’ then training** client firms to improve their opportunity conversion rates, often with increased pricing, without the need for additional spend.
**Legal Mentors training qualifies for CPD Continuing Competence.