• Barbara Spoor

Complaints should be valued?!

Updated: Jun 9, 2020

Solicitors Journal – Affiliate Intelligence

Author: Barbara Spoor

Job Title: Managaing Director

Company: CRCS Legal

Tel: 0330 2210511



You may think this is an alien concept to consider that any complaint should be valued as it is a costly, time consuming exercise so why would you value that experience?!

Complaints can take you away from the work that you are engaged for by the client, which is the life blood of your business. With the advent of outcome focussed regulation and LeO more emphasis than ever before is put on the consumer and their expectations of the firm. Not least of this is the new ‘pre-client’ complaint which means that you have to aware of the potential of complaints to come from any source irrespective of whether they are an ‘actual client’ or indeed a ‘potential client’.

Valuing a complaint can be hard to achieve, complaints evoke comments such as annoying, frustrating, waste of time, unjustified-all of which can be true. Try looking at this from a different prospective. Your client has used their valuable time to put something in writing to you. What do you then do?

You HAVE to address it so this will involve looking at the file. You may well have carried out the work on that file so you may know it inside out, but have you looked at it from the prospective of the client? You are more likely to have dealt with it as the expert solicitor handling their legal matter.

Take a step back, what does the service look like to you if you were a client?

Was the client kept adequately updated?

Were the client’s calls/e-mails answered?

Does the costs information make sense to a lay client?

Would they know what the level of costs were?

Would the client know when they were likely to be billed?

Would they be aware of any ‘other’ costs they may be responsible for?

Were all of their queries answered?

Were all of their points addressed?

Did you follow their instructions or did you just do what YOU know is the best to do rather than explaining this to the client?

Did you ask for instructions

What can you learn? Reviewing the file may well bring up issues that need addressing, such as any trends or further training needs of staff. This gives you the opportunity to advert any further complaints about the same issues in the future, A valuable learning experience. Your clients are the main asset of your company value them and the opportunity they are providing you to improve your business it can only be a good thing!

Consider using external complaints management expertise

For some, the use of expert external complaints management support can be a time saving and cost effective solution. With a number of benefits:

saves on significant lost fee earning time (and therefore lost revenue)

reduces stress and worry for staff and partners

is seen by the client seen to provide a more independent review

provides added experience in dealing with LeO should the complaint be escalated

delivers feedback and advice to help firms learn and problems identified

For many the cost of managing a complaint themselves in lost fee earning, admin resources and so on will far outweigh the cost of using an external expert service, and will deliver poorer results for the firm and the client.


In conclusion value any complaint from the point of what can you learn from the complaint as opposed to the hassle it can cause!

Author: Barbara Spoor

Job Title: Managing Director

Company: CRCS Legal

Tel: 0330 2210511



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