Phone is still king for legal customers according to new research

The phone remains the most popular way for clients to contact US legal service providers, despite the boom in portals and social media, according to new research.

Moneypenny commissioned new research, titled ‘The Inbound Phone Call’ which reveals that calls to law firms have increased by 26% over the last five years. The research also shows that 35% of all calls to legal firms result in a new business inquiry.

New inquiry calls equate to $266million for US small business law firms.

Highlighting the commercial necessity of professional and efficient call handling, the research also reveals that these new inquiry calls equate to a staggering $266m for small business law firms across the US.

The report goes on to show that 48% of the legal firms surveyed cite customers’ desire for reassurance and to talk to a real person as the main reason for the increase in calls, followed by business growth (43%) and clients calling to verify their online research (40%).

48% of firms believe the desire to talk to a real person has contributed to the increase in calls.

Mel Carlen, VP of Operations US at Moneypenny, said: “Viewing phone calls in relation to their new business value helps to reiterate just how critical efficient call handling is to business growth, as well as maintaining market share and offering a positive customer experience.  We know that missed calls cost business and that when callers reach an answerphone, they just hang up and move on”.

The report credits the ubiquity of smartphones for driving a phone call renaissance and in particular, the increasing use of Google’s click-to-call feature – which allows cell phone users to call directly from their search results.

The phone delivers instant gratification for time-poor customers.

Mel added: “Even with so many different customer communication channels available, the phone is still king. It delivers instant gratification for time-poor customers and provides the all-important reassurance of knowing your inquiry is being handled by talking to someone directly.   The legal sector may be focused on new tech-enabled and digital solutions, but answering the phone well remains a law firm’s fundamental secret weapon.”

Moneypenny’s research confirms the phone’s position as the most popular way for customers to contact legal service providers, closely followed by email (46%) social media (33%) letter (27%) and live chat (24%).

To discover the full findings, download the free report here