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Black Letter Communications Blog

Expert pr advice for the legal sector

Black Friday bargains

Black Friday, the US import that sees the retail sector slash prices on one of the biggest shopping days of the year, appears to have been adopted by a number of law firms.

Last week’s annual discount day saw Manak Solicitors, based in Dartford, advertising 10% off conveyancing, fixed family work, wills or immigration services for any client who quoted ‘Black Friday 2021’ before 31 January.

Surrey-based Lovetts Solicitors was encouraging people to sign up for a free letter before action and Kent firm Martin Tolhurst Solicitors stated that anyone going through a divorce or having issues with their children could book an initial £99 telephone appointment on Black Friday and receive £150 off their next invoice.

Analysts PwC predicted that £8.7bn would be spent on Black Friday, twice the amount spent last year, during lockdown. Clearly there is big money to be made but can legal businesses really expect to be in on the action?

More often than not, for consumers, legal advice is either a distress purchase, perhaps resulting from a dispute, an injury or a problem at work, or it is a response to a specific event in our lives such as the purchase of a house or a divorce. On that basis, it seems unlikely that we will be driven to use legal services based on an enticing offer.

But let’s say we do happen to be shopping around for legal services during the Black Friday period – would discounts help us choose?

According to the Legal Services Consumer Panel’s most recent tracker poll, reputation is the most important deciding factor for consumers – 80% stated it was key for them – with price in second place with 71%. Other factors include specialism, speed of delivery and proximity of offices.

So price is a key factor but reputation, and the promise of quality and customer service that comes with it, is paramount. Shopping around has increased over the last 10 years but past experience or personal recommendations have remained the most popular ways to choose legal service providers.

Consumers certainly want transparency on cost but a race to the bottom on price runs the danger of being counterproductive. Whilst discounts might lure us to buy extra Christmas presents, is offering a ‘bargain’ good for a law firm’s PR?

No one wants to feel ripped off but when making one of the biggest transactions of your life in the form of a house purchase, or ensuring your affairs are in order by making a will, the idea you are getting a cheap deal is not especially reassuring. Certainly you don’t want to rush a decision based on which provider happens to be offering a discount on a certain day of the year.

There is a lot legal businesses have to learn from other sectors, in terms of price transparency, customer services, legal marketing and legal PR.  Perhaps Black Friday is not the best place to start.

Black Friday sale