Contacting lawyers can be daunting for consumers and first impressions are critical to form and foster trust between both parties. In 2019, Legal Utopia analysed correspondence of 6,244 consumers from across the UK to understand their choice of first instance communication and their response times.
To explore how consumers contacted legal services providers (LSPs) and what their experience was, Legal Utopia’s research team reviewed correspondence of 6244 legal consumer communications recording the medium used at first instance and the rate of response by LSPs.
Our research found that email and phone were the most popular medium used by legal consumers and small businesses when contacting LSPs in the first instance at 48% and 32% respectively. From all cases analysed, only one medium did not require access to a computer or mobile device in order to communicate; that medium being post. However, it was observed that none of the correspondence was handwritten suggesting the sender (legal consumers) typed the correspondence on a digital device.
The researchers further reviewed the correspondence for the response time to first instance contact by LSPs. The response time averaged against each medium of communication. Upon analysis, it could be identified that post communications received the slowest response from LSPs with an average response time of 48hrs. This was followed by email at 4-hours, social media a 3-hours and mobile-apps at 2.5-hours, phone at 10-minutes, and instant chat at 3 minutes.
This research, it should be noted, only provides insight into the response time and medium of communication used by prospective clients and LSPs and not the value of the response provided.
This insight is one of many from our published study which consisted of Legal Utopia collaborating and consulting with a total of 12 organisations (including 5 international law firms, 1 banking institution, and two UK regulators) and engaged with over 142 industry stakeholders. The project, over its 15-month duration, included 75 team members, undertook a total of 18,347 research interviews, 151,221 manual file reviews and included 27,817 research participant responses to a total of 28 lines of enquiry, market research and consumer consultations.