Want from advice: confidential (76%), independent (74%), easy to access (73%), local knowledge (71%), trusted source (70%), high quality (64%), more than one problem (51%)
Summaries results of 40 intervies by GFK, report states that:
Consumers tend to go with a provider reccomeded by a firm, do limited research about different providers, are loyal to previous providers. – page 5
Consumers look for an established provider based on a recommendation from someone they trust, evidence that the provider is experienced in legal practice, and evidence that a provider specialises in there required areas. Confirms service standards and price assessed after purchase.
Consumers see solictor as a indication of quality, and gives them confidence they are purchasing services from a reliable provider. Assume all professionals and staff are qualified to do thier job. – Page 6
Consumers expect all legal services to be regulated, and expected levels of protection similar to existing regulation. Page 7
Consmers unclear as to what represnts good value for money – Page 8
Review of whether clients want non lawyers in to management positions suggest that this will only matter to corporate clients – page 8 & 9
Research suggests quality marks only influence clients buying decisions for legal services in 1% of transactions (page 4). As a purchaser of legal services, the LSC does take quality marks seriously because it uses them (page 21). The CPS and Treasury solicitors also maintain lists of approved providers (page 23). Further details of (low) levels of awareness of various quality marks among consumers (page 24).
Reports findings of 40 in-depth interviews. Looked at impacts of professional title.
Solicitors were consistently ranked highly, as being most qualified and trustworthy.
“It was thought that solicitors would be most highly qualified of the professionals, but many thought that legal advisers, licensed conveyancers, and professional willwriters
would also have some kind of legal qualification, although they were thought likely to offer better value for money. It was thought possible, therefore, that these
professionals might offer similar skills, but for less money”. Slide 12
Report summarises what survey clients wanted from their advisor – and expert knowledge doesn’t seen to stand out particularly (page 10). Timeliness, venue, delays also mattered.
Examples of some of the quality marks available and how they interlink – including Specialist Quality Mark (SQM), Lexcel Practice Management Standards, Investors in People ISO 9001:2000, EFQM Excellence Model, and the Charter Mark. No information on consumer perceptions.
Discussion of how CCAS and membership of the IPW signifies the quality of services on offer – Pages 42-46
For the consumer code to be valuable as a signalling tool, consumers must recognise membership of the consumer code as a signal of quality. They also must be aware of the codes existence, and be able recognise the OFT Consumer Codes Approval Scheme logo and interpret it as representing quality. To the extent that this is the case, businesses who are members of the code may derive
a competitive advantage from membership.
Discusses what were clients perceptions of quality within sample group (page 28),
According to the survey recommendations are more important in selecting a lawyer than their specialist knowledge (page 17).
34.5% of Lexcel holders states that it had been useful in gaining new work. Other self reported benefits of holding Lexcel included improved client care (81.2%), risk management (78.8%), consistency of service (71.5%), lower insurance premiums (69.1%), improved staff morale (48.5%), compliance (47.9%, competitive advantage (39.4%), & increasing profitability (25.5%).
33% of people chose a solicitor because they specialised in the type of advice they were looking for. 29% chose a solicitor based on the recommendation of someone they trusted and 24% went with a solicitor with a strong reputation that they were familiar with. 23% chose a solicitor that was based near their work or home address.
Report suggests “reputation” may be a non-regulatory method of addressing quality – i.e. quality must be maintained to justify reputation (page 30). But queries how reputation can be created (page 32-33).
Report implies that standardised high quality is assumed from any provider (page 11).
Report covers evidence that non-lawyers can offer the same levels of expertise as lawyers – specialism matters, not professionalism (page 5).
Looking at how clients choose a solicitor in a police station:
While some respondents mentioned just one factor that was important when choosing a solicitor, others commented on two, three or more factors. Their responses were broken down into five main categories: