Consumers satisfied with legal services, but they're not shopping around

customer satisfaction facesConsumers are happier with the service they receive from lawyers than any other time this decade, according to an annual tracker survey by the Legal Services Consumer Panel.

The 84 per cent satisfaction level was the highest recorded to date, as it was for almost every element of service delivery, particularly professionalism, clarity of terms and quality of advice.

Less positively, less than 64 per cent said the service and advice they received was good value for money, although this was up three percentage points on last year’s survey.

Overall, 88 per cent of consumers were satisfied with the outcome of their matter, with satisfaction particularly strong in non-contentious areas such as will writing, powers of attorney and probate.

But there was no increase in the relatively small number of consumers who shop around for a lawyer. When it came to how consumers were choosing legal services providers, the number shopping around before doing so stayed steady at 27 per cent. Those seeking conveyancing and family services were more likely to shop around, while only 16 per cent of those seeking probate, power of attorney or personal injury services did so.

Reputation continues to be the most important factor when choosing a legal service provider, followed by price and specialism.

The use of fixed-fee arrangements has increased to its highest level at 52 per cent, with will writing, conveyancing and power of attorney the most common areas.

Sarah Chambers, chair of the Legal Services Consumer Panel, said: “It remains a concern that seven out of 10 consumers do not shop around in the legal services market. This needs to change if the vision of empowered consumers stimulating competition is to be achieved.”

Read more at Legal Futures, and find out more about the survey.