With technology on their side, many companies manage to exceed consumer expectations to stay on top of their game. In the 21st century, it’s becoming impossible to convert and retain clients without going the extra mile.

Speed of service and quality customer service are the two most important factors influencing purchasing decisions today. Consumers want immediate and impeccable customer service across all available channels. Even a tiny dip in speed or quality can initiate shopping elsewhere.

Companies That Changed Consumer Expectations

According to Hubspot, the top players in customer service are:

  • Amazon
  • Walmart
  • Verizon
  • AT&T
  • T-Mobile

Each of these giants continuously comes up with customer service tactics that set the stage for the rest of the world. For example, Amazon raised the bar with same-day deliveries and simple returns. Meanwhile, Walmart boosted customer experience with free, two-day shipping and “Check Out with Me” technology, a service where customers can pay for goods on the spot instead of waiting to go through a checkout line.

With 74 percent of customers basing their purchase decisions on customer service, companies should be working hard to maintain excellence in that department. Otherwise, they lose market share.

Keeping up with ever-changing customer standards isn’t always enough. It’s important to outdo the competition. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), consumers are ready to pay up to 16 percent more for a better customer experience. That includes making a consumer’s journey more personalized, seamless, memorable and consistent.

Real-Time Consumer Communication

With real-time communication possibilities available across various channels, consumers want a close-to-immediate reaction. On average, consumers are willing to wait for a response:

  • Chat: less than 1 minute
  • SMS: 4 – 5 minutes
  • Phone: 5 – 6 minutes
  • Social media: 35 minutes
  • Email: 3 – 4 hours

According to HubSpot, almost two-thirds of consumers look for a response within 10 minutes to queries that are related to customer service, marketing or sales issues. Meanwhile, 90 percent of consumers want an immediate response. Any interaction delays could provoke a client to send their business elsewhere.

While customers are looking for a great experience, they don’t get it often enough. According to Salesforce, 51 percent of customers say that companies fall short of their expectations for great experiences. Yet another reason why companies that focus on customer service have an impressive competitive edge.

Consumer Expectations in the Legal Industry

In the legal industry, consumer standards are even higher. Alert Communications found that the ideal intake hold time for legal clients is:

  • Three rings over the phone
  • 2 to 5 minutes for web inquiries

Since legal issues are often more urgent than problems in other industries, legal clients want faster responses. When they don’t get a quick reaction from a legal firm, leads tend to start shopping.

  • The odds of making contact with the client decrease by five times over the first 5 minutes.
  • Leaving clients on hold for more than 15 seconds results in abandoned calls and lost leads.

When it comes to legal intake, urgency is the key to success. With the cost of a lost legal lead reaching thousands of dollars, failing to meet the client’s expectations is a bad business decision.

The Importance of a Legal Call Center

Besides high-quality services, legal clients want law firms to provide quick responses to their queries. Exceeding their standards is only possible by working with a large and experienced intake team.

For firms that can’t support an in-house intake department, partnering with a legal call center is an excellent way to stay competitive against larger firms. By working with a center, law firms can:

  • Answer phone calls in under three rings
  • Reply to web queries in 2 – 5 minutes
  • Respond to client queries 24/7/365
  • Follow-up with clients who don’t convert during the first call
  • Increase marketing return on investment
  • Build a positive brand experience
  • Provide excellent customer service

Overall, a legal call center can make sure that no leads fall through the cracks, while also achieving quick conversions and saving your firm time and money.

How to Exceed Consumer Expectations in 2021 and Beyond

When it comes to the legal industry, clients want a fast response to their requests. Without a properly arranged intake process, it’s impossible to keep leads from slipping through the cracks or stop clients from shopping around with other firms.

By working with a legal call center, you can exceed client expectations while improving your firm’s reputation and profitability.

But how do you choose the right legal call center? Find out when you download our eBook, “Top 10 Questions for a Law Firm to Ask When Hiring a Call Center.”