What is price transparency?
The word “transparent” is defined by the dictionary as “easy to see through, understand, or recognise; obvious, candid”. In the context of lawyers, price transparency means readily and easily available information on the price that lawyers will charge for legal services.
Why is price transparency important?
Would you order a meal at a restaurant without first looking at the menu and the prices? Probably not.
Price is important for people when they are looking to purchase legal services. The cost of services is the second most important factor when searching for a Lawyer (after reputation).
Currently there is little price information available to consumers to help them compare and choose a legal service provider. Most website simply say, “contact us for a quote”.
The lack of price information by a law firm creates distrust and the perception that if they are not willing to be forward and candid with their prices, it is probably because the price is too high, or that the price will fluctuate.
Price transparency creates trust. It ensures that the consumer has the information they need to make an informed choice when purchasing legal services right from the very start. It is not unreasonable or impossible for consumers to expect to know and understand the total price of a service and what is included without contacting the lawyer.
How can price transparency be achieved?
If you have a website, details of prices can be published in a prominent location on the law firm’s website, where it should be easily accessible for the website visitors to find.
If you do not have a website, pricing information should be readily available on request in an easy-to-read format such as a leaflet or by email.
What information should be provided?
For transparent pricing to be effective, you should provide the following information:
- The price of the service
- A list of services that are included in the price
- Services which are not included in the price which a consumer might reasonably expect to be included
- Details of the experience and qualifications of the law firm representatives who will provide the service
- Typical timescales
- Key stages of the process
How can I advertise a price for complex or difficult cases?
Transparent pricing is not “one size fits all”. Law firms are not expected to publish binding quotes for every scenario or predict the precise details of each client’s individual situation. What they are asked to do, is be transparent about their pricing in certain areas of law that have a degree of predictability, like:
- residential property purchases and sales
- uncontested divorces
- Immigration cases
- motoring offences
- debt recovery.
What are the benefits of transparent pricing?
- Price transparency builds trust. The foundation of any good relationship is trust. Consumers want to feel empowered with enough information to make an informed decision. By providing such information instead of withholding it, you are telling your customers that you value what is in their best interests, not yours.
- Pricing transparency also sifts out the timewasters. Having transparency available on your website removes any doubts or uncertainty and will automatically stop those phone calls which turn into nothing. The consumer knows exactly what they must pay.
- Price transparency makes you unique, innovative, and different from your competitors. Most importantly, it shows you have nothing to hide, and you value your clients.
A client is much more likely to make an enquiry if you are clear-cut about your prices and services, so make them obvious.
For more information on transparency in the legal industry, have a look at this interesting article from Bigle Legal “