65-year-old local law firm embraces technology for generating client referrals
Shepherd Harris are a well-known law firm in Enfield Town, trading there since 1954. Their whole ethos is based on providing a great client service. Duncan Ritchie, company director and servant of 42 years says, “Most of the work we get comes from referrals from previous clients, word of mouth, client’s recommending us to family and friends”.
Client Relationships are vital to a local firm like Shepherd Harris and they value them even higher than their business relationships. The clients have a friendly and familiar face dealing with their case and not just whoever happens to be at their desk at that time. “That’s what has enabled us to build as we are and hopefully see us in good stead going forward”.
The way they achieve this excellence in client service is using technology. “We’ve always adopted technology, we were one of the early firms to do that” says Duncan, he notes that when the staff see the benefits of using technology to process their work and meet client expectations then they are more than happy to adapt to it.
“When I first joined the firm in 1976 the accounts were all manual, so we had a bookkeeper double entering, that was the first thing we computerised” adds Duncan who in the last 40 years has seen a lot of change. Now the firm have their accounts, case management, time recording and integrations with bodies such as the land registry, integrated in one system; which greatly improves the speed at which they can serve their clients.
“We’re under more and more pressure to do things quickly, and technology enables you to do that…we can access our systems wherever we are, on the train, at home, waiting for a Doctor’s appointment, there’s no downtime”.
They are very careful to get the balance right between serving clients efficiently and protecting the staff’s work-life balance. Having access to the system out of the office means staff can get more done during their allocated working hours and aren’t trying to make up time by staying late or working through breaks.
In today’s society people expect everything quickly, particularly when it comes to services. “Email is now the King” as Duncan says, “Everyone expects emails to be responded to very quickly, being able to send them copy documents within seconds rather than scanning it in first and then trying to find the file to put it back in makes it all much easier and clients appreciate that”
Providing a great service to clients is how Shepherd Harris have managed to survive and thrive for over 6 decades. Watch the video above to hear about it in Duncan’s own words.