Resolving legal complaints quickly and effectively is vital if you want to stop a bad situation from escalating. But, according to the Legal Ombudsman (LeO), in 2020/21 it was contacted over 6,000 times from clients to complain about their lawyers, without them having raised the matter with their service provider first.
There are several reasons why clients are bypassing firms and going straight to the LeO. But in most cases, it is simply because clients don’t know how to complain to their legal representatives or because they haven’t been given the tools to do so.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) requires all regulated law firms to tell clients how they can complain. Firms must also publish their complaints procedure online (or in another format if they do not have a website). But this isn’t the only burden placed on law firms when dealing with complaints. In a busy legal environment, where lawyers and support staff are already stretched to capacity, dealing with complaints drains time and energy that most firms would probably rather spend elsewhere.
Helping firms free up valuable resources so they can focus on business growth, our complaints handling service reduces the hassle of complaints, while ensuring that clients get access to the high level of service they have come to expect. But what else do you need to know about the Legal Eye complaint handling service?
Our most frequently asked questions:
Can we select the complaints we outsource?
Absolutely. We can take responsibility for your entire complaints handling process or deal only with the investigations you want us to do. Our service is entirely flexible; you can choose which complaints to outsource and which ones you prefer to deal with internally.
Are we obligated to use Legal Eye for a set number of investigations monthly or annually?
Not at all. You can use us as little or as much as you want. And you only ever pay for the investigations that we carry out. Again, flexibility is vital, and you always stay in control.
Isn’t it more expensive to outsource complaints rather than deal with them in-house?
We don’t believe so. Yes, outsourcing your complaints comes with additional costs, but it can also deliver impressive ROI. As well as freeing up your people to deal with revenue-generating work, you should also see an improvement in resolution rates by using an expert outsourced complaint-handling service. In addition, because matters get resolved sooner and before emotions have heightened, your firm may also benefit from a reduction in the compensation or goodwill payments that it needs to make.
Can you help our firm to reduce the number of complaints it receives?
Yes, we can. None of us go to work to do a bad job, and when a client expresses dissatisfaction with your firm’s service, it can be disheartening. As well as carrying out an independent review of a client’s complaint and preparing a suitable response, we also provide suggested areas of improvement to combat the likelihood of similar complaints in the future.
In addition, we offer face-to-face training to help your team understand how to deal with complaints effectively. With coaching on active listening, managing expectations, and dealing with difficult conversations, our training can help you to differentiate between a ‘grumble’ and a ‘complaint’, and stop the former from becoming the latter. We can also create bespoke training modules to cater to your firm’s particular requirements.
Can you help to improve our complaint management policies and procedures?
Yes, the Legal Eye ‘Complaint Handling Tool Kit’ includes vital documentation to help your firm effectively manage complaints . We can also help you to document how your firm deals with complaints. Such evidence can prove invaluable if you need to demonstrate regulatory compliance.
How experienced are the people who will deal with our complaints?
Very. Our team includes former solicitors, partners and directors in law firms, former SRA risk and compliance professionals, and former LeO case handlers. So, we can deal with all manner of complaints, from easy-to-resolve matters to complex investigations. We also have experience working across all areas of legal practice.
Can you help us with complaints that have been escalated to the LeO?
Absolutely. In complex and stressful situations, including where your firm is subject to a LeO investigation, we can manage the whole process for you. We can even operate as your contact with the LeO when required.
Where can I find out more?