When Craig Holt of Quality Solicitors was recently quoted saying all Law Firm websites were the same, we thought we would put his thesis to the test. We decided to take a look at the websites of the Top 100 UK law firms and see who stood out from the crowd.
So here they are…
Just looking at the homepages, for me, there is one website that stands head and shoulders above the rest. Can you spot the one I am thinking of? Are there any that you would commend or decry?
I’ll post up my thoughts on the stand-out sites and my reasons tomorrow. Meanwhile leave a comment below…
Update: See our verdict on the top Top Law Firm Websites
JP Morgan has published a briefing paper on opportunities for closer links between Solicitors, IFAs and Accountants in a post-ABS world. There’s a whole bunch of stats and charts like this one, a few nice marketing and cross-selling tips and some interesting findings on Solicitors’ attitudes to ABS-based multi-disciplinary practices.
You can download the full report from the JP Morgan website.
Well, this all seems rather apt given, the recent Panorama expose on will writers…
This photo was taken in my local shopping mall a little while back… A company offering wills for £49, complete with a freephone number and a home visit to complete the paperwork. Now as it turns out, the home visit is where Panorama alleges the hard sell happens – and that low initial fee can turn into something very different if you are not wary.
But that’s not the point I want to make here. Instead I want to focus on what these companies are doing right: giving the consumer convenience.
Legal Opportunity #2: Convenience
These days consumers are used to 24-hour telephone banking, 24-hour supermarkets, and the instant gratification of MP3s purchased and downloaded in seconds. Convenience is a time-proven strategy for business success:
- Lastminute.com created a travel business by specifically targeting cash-rich, time-poor people who had left booking their vacation to the last minute
- Ocado has won legions of raving fans for its home delivery service segmented into handy 1 hour slots
- And don’t forget how Amazon shook up the book world by delivering almost any title to your door in 24 hours
The Three Strands of Convenience
- Anywhere: Deliver your services wherever the client finds it most convenient. In their home, in their office, at your office.
- Anytime: Make your services available when it works for the client. How about offering appointments in the evening or early morning? Could you use your website to provide 24-hours a day service? What about late evening telephone consultations?
- Anyhow: Can you deliver your service, or parts of it, over the web or via an iPhone app? Could you deliver some of your services through a partner… an account, IFA or HR consultancy for example?
So, which law firms and solicitors are out there breaking the mould and providing convenience to clients already? Let me know in the comments.
How should solicitors and law firms compete with the availability of free legal information on the web? How might it impact current business models?
In the IT industry, we have been grappling with this issue for a number of years… lots and lots of free information and advice on the Web, free open source software, and many, many free websites. Observations from the IT industry are that traditional paid-for software providers are still doing very well. The radical change that we thought open source software would bring hasn’t been as radical as we originally thought, and there are still plenty of well-paid jobs for IT consultants. Free open-source alternatives now with co-exist paid-for products and to varying degrees are embraced by the likes of IBM, Sun and even Microsoft.
Lessons for the legal sector (and indeed any professional service firms)
- Get close to your clients. Understand their business and become their trusted partner. Show you provide real value. Good consulting fees will remain for people who can do this well
- Look at low value-add services that you provide. These could easily become cannibalised and commoditized by free alternatives. Consider acting first and making them free before your competitors do (the Sun Open Office approach). Alternatively look at what else you can add to make your offering unique and worth paying for (the Microsoft Office approach)
- Look how you can use free products and build on top of them to lower your product/service costs
- Think about how it is possible to create packaged product offerings that can effectively compete with free, rather than simply an hourly service
- Think how you can create and distribute free offerings yourselves to introduce people to your brand (And perhaps if a free product is one step to far right now, you could consider starting by using free tools to help in your marketing)
- Consider getting involved and contributing to free information forums in order to build your brand recognition and reputation. The idea is essentially to build credibility, trust and brand recognition so that when people do need to purchase legal services, they will think to come to you