Gone are the days when law firms could win new business based on price alone. Due to the highly competitive nature of the UK legal market – coupled with ever-changing consumer preferences and expectations – law firms now have to go the extra mile to attract and retain new clients and prove they are a cut above the rest. Cue CSR.
With the recent pandemic highlighting the need for brands to take a more responsible approach to business, there is more pressure on law firms than ever to create and implement a solid corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy. Without one, your law firm risks being left behind as the younger generation begins to take over the consumer market. But it’s not all about pleasing your clientele – having a watertight CSR policy in place can bring several additional benefits for your law firm, too. Stay tuned to find out more.
What is CSR
Before we get into the benefits of CSR for your law firm, we first need to understand exactly what it is. In essence, it’s your law firm’s commitment to conducting business in an ethical way – think of it as a policy to ensure the social, environmental and economic effects of your operations are managed responsibly.
A great example of a CSR policy that has been implemented and communicated effectively is that of UK law firm, Stephensons Solicitors. Their full policy is outlined over on their website and summarised perfectly in an engaging infographic – but it doesn’t end there. To push the boat out, they created their own explainer video which communicates their commitment to CSR in an engaging and memorable way.
The benefits of CSR for your law firm
There are dozens of benefits that will arise from your law firm having a CSR policy in place, with three of the most significant including:
#1 Target top talent
Times have changed. People are no longer prioritising profits but are instead concerned with building a fairer, more sustainable future. And your employees are no exception. With 91% of the global population now keen to see brands focus on more than just profits, if you want to recruit and retain the best talent for your law firm, you need to show candidates that you care.
As it stands, around 70% of the global workforce will now opt to work for socially-inclined businesses. But it doesn’t start and end at the recruitment phase. If you want to keep your talent on board, you need to talk the talk and walk the walk. Firms engaging in socially valuable projects have seen up to a 50% reduction in employee turnover – pretty impressive, right?
#2 Attract and retain clients
If you are looking to enhance your law firm’s credibility and deepen loyalty for your brand, then you need a strong CSR strategy in place.
By using CSR to differentiate your law firm, you will attract a more loyal client base who are far less price-elastic and a lot more likely to stick around for the long run – whether you change your pricing strategy or not. So, yes, CSR has a big impact on how clients will view your law firm. In fact, so much so that in a recent survey conducted by Views For Change, 90% of participants said they are more likely to trust and remain loyal to socially responsible businesses.
#3 Boost your bottom line
We’ve already discussed the ability of your law firm to increase prices and retain clients with the help of CSR, but did you know it can have the same effect on prospective clients too? Providing you have a strong policy that is well communicated, you can look to leverage this to attract new clients as opposed to relying on cost alone, with 55% of consumers saying they are willing to pay more for a product or service that contributes to positive social change.
And of course, we can’t forget the wonders it can do for your workforce. Not only will you be in a better position to attract and retain the highest calibre of lawyers, but provided your policy is implemented well and you consider a bottom-up approach, you will also see an increase in productivity and engagement throughout your business. And naturally, this will lead to an increase in profitability. A win-win situation.
So there we have three ways CSR can benefit your law firm – needless to say, the list goes on. And if you are serious about making CSR work for your law firm, you need to ensure everyone within your firm is passionate about what you are doing and has a genuine interest in playing a role. Greenwashing and half-hearted help won’t wash here. Consumers will see right through it, and you will end up doing more harm than good.
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