Following the high-profile Trustpilot libel case, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is now taking action to improve information about the quality of legal services.
The SRA is working with law firms and comparison websites to increase the level of information available to the public about legal service providers. The body has signed up 20 law firms to take part in a six-month experiment, and will assess reactions when they “engage with reviews” “put themselves out there” on comparison sites.
The body is running two pilot projects, one focussing on employment and the other on conveyancing, which will run for at least six months. The projects will allow the participating law firms and comparison sites to work together to trial approaches that will improve access to information for law firm customers around the quality of legal services.
According to the SRA website, the pilot scheme has three key aims:
- Increase the amount of comparable information about the quality of legal services which is available online
- Increase law firm engagement with customer reviews and comparison websites
- Increase the number of consumers accessing online information, beginning with using and leaving online reviews.
One of the difficulties faced by law firms and regulators when entering the world of comparison sites, is that often law firm clients have no point of reference. What is a high quality legal service? Furthermore, many clients may focus on the outcome of their case, which in many circumstances is not indicative of the quality of service received by the firm.
Ally Thomson of Hey Legal says:
“Online reviews left by clients can often be tricky territory for law firms as people often struggle to assess the quality of services provided and focus more on outcomes.
We know the main drivers of complaints are lack of communication on progress of matters, and issues about feeing. To build out positive online reviews firms can focus on providing excellent communication on both progress and fees.
Customer experience is key, alongside quality legal work. A strategy to gain significant numbers of reviews from happy clients is also wise “