4th June 2018
Most people appreciate that buying or selling a home will mean navigating through a wide range of intricate and complex specific laws. Of course, that’s precisely why conveyancer services are sought and commissioned every day. However, most home buyer/seller clients will remain blissfully unaware of the sheer depth of any number of peculiar legal complexities that can be revealed during any purchase/sale – and rightly so. After all, it’s the job of the conveyancer to take on those burdens and steer the process to the best outcome, and to do so as quickly and efficiently as possible.
As well as navigating the maze of legal technicalities, the reality of buying or selling a home means dealing with several parties at one time. That actually means ‘real people’, and some people are more indecisive than others. We’re all aware of someone (perhaps even you) who has been inconvenienced by a home buyer or seller who sabotaged a purchase/sale for reasons known only to them. While such instances are rare, they do exist simply because we’re dealing with real people – but when the unfortunate happens, it’s even more important that communication between the professional and the client remains clear.
Whatever the final outcome of a home purchase/sale, the customer has the need to be kept updated throughout the entire process. This has the potential to become problematic for the busy conveyancer who needs to provide regular updates in plain language. Failing to do this adequately can result in confusion, frustration, and an inability for the customer to have a clear picture of what’s happening – or in the worst cases, what exactly is going wrong and why. Across the legal profession this is a problem that’s been highlighted in a recent report by The Legal Services Consumer Panel. It claims that a mere 44% of law firm clients are confident about raising a complaint about a legal professional. Undoubtedly this is mainly because of unclear expectations set by the lawyer thereby leaving the client in doubt regarding their position. The panel’s three-year plan, published April ‘18, states that ‘49% of dissatisfied legal consumers did not complain [and therefore] the sector must work harder to find the underlying causes and address them’. In particular, the panel recommends addressing the problem of consumer confusion via clear, well-communicated and simplified explanations regarding legal services. (Source: The Law Society Gazette).
The issue of clear, concise communications between legal professionals and their clients has been gathering attention within the sector for the past few years. Often regarded as ‘more art than science’, every conveyancing practitioner will by now be aware of the increasing importance of this discipline. Gone are the days of just getting the job done as quickly and effectively as possible with a courtesy roundup call (or worse, a quick email) at the end. This is the hour of On-Demand Information. We’ve all come to expect this from our gas, electric, mobile phone and home entertainment providers, and even our banks. Further, the mere receipt of timely information isn’t enough. All information needs to be instantly understood and digested by the reader. Information received that doesn’t make sense quickly is irrelevant at best and an annoying waste of time at worst. In some corners this trend in client expectations is still viewed as an inconvenience, particularly within older-school legal circles – but for the majority, it is more than accepted – it’s welcomed as a crucial competitive differentiator in how services are delivered. Today’s successful conveyancing professional understands that the client is not going to award a five-star rating for a good outcome following a poor experience involving several weeks of scant communication. The happy customers who make recommendations to their friends and neighbors are the ones who enjoy good experiences leading up to good outcomes. Together, these two measurements of customer satisfaction have become the bedrock that determines the degree of trust given to today’s conveyancer.
Customers of JS Law already benefit from a sound Client Communications Best Practice Policy. Three decades in the industry and a culture of continual engagement with client feedback has meant that services are clearly defined and explained in the most straightforward terms. From the outset, JS Law conveyancers provide clear documentation with helpful illustrations to show the entire journey – from engagement through to key exchange. This means the customer is aware of the whole process before signing any document. On sign-up, all clients are provided with an online account that enables progress visibility 24/7. Further, each client’s personally-assigned conveyancer keeps in regular contact.Back to blog