Hampshire-based Coffin Mew has started a mystery shopping service in a bid to improve client experience and benchmark itself against competitors.
The move is part of the firm’s recently launched ‘client excellence’ programme, which looks at improving levels of customer service following the feedback of secret shoppers.
General customer experience, such as accessibility to staff, went under scrutiny in November, with feedback from mystery shoppers leading to the firm completely overhauling its ‘clunky’ telephone system. Steps to ensure clients are able to speak to someone from each practice at any time during the day were also put in place following feedback, with most staff now on a staggered lunch break rota.
Commercial director Ray Cobb said the next stage is to look at the way clients buy legal services, for example on fixed fees or hourly rates, with mystery shoppers rating the options available at Coffin Mew against UK firms of a similar size. The firm’s website will also come under scrutiny by secret shoppers, again compared to firms of a similar size and with a similar practice mix.
While the firm has been known to use mystery shoppers in the past this is the first time it has turned to an external secret shopping company, whose identity it could not disclose for confidentiality reasons, for a long-term project.
“For many clients, law is effectively a product,” commented Cobb. “Secret shoppers help us understand what the client, as a consumer, really wants.”