Whether you have the lowest prices in town or your law firm offers high-quality services, many people will not work with you if you don’t have good customer service. The legal industry is service-based, so how you treat and talk with your clients will determine whether your law firm survives.
Your customers want the same things we all want when purchasing a product or service: They want to feel like a priority to you, be attended to, and get the services for which they are paying.
Great customer service has the power to build and maintain lasting relationships with clients, bring in more sales through referrals, and create a positive brand reputation. Below is a list of habits you can cultivate within your law firm to provide good customer service.
The First Impression Matters
When a client is shopping for legal services, they are likely to research a list of law firms that best match their needs. What does this mean?
First, your clients already have a preconceived notion about your firm from the Internet and other sources. Second, the prospective customer has several alternative law firms or attorneys to hire, should the first contact fail to impress them enough.
Whether you handle this initial communication by yourself or have an assistant for the same, the first contact should show empathy, friendliness, and a desire to help. This will make the client feel comfortable handing their case over to you.
How many times have you heard a client say they cannot get ahold of their lawyer? This is a common problem that hurts the reputation and customer service of many law firms.
Return phone calls and emails as soon as possible, or better yet, hire an assistant. Some lenient clients will understand that you have a busy schedule and a list of cases to work through. However, returning a client’s call several days later citing that you were busy will not sit well with someone who is paying for your services.
Clear and Simple Communication
The legal field is complex. There are many things for which your client will require clarification or more explanation. Kohan & Bablove does an excellent job at this by explaining how insurance companies work to limit their own liability.
If you talk or write using legal jargon, you must follow this up with definitions or additional information. If you fail to do this, your clients will feel left out or as if they are not a part of the case. Using clear communication will also eliminate misunderstandings and frustration from a customer.
Keeping Your Clients Updated
Lawsuits, criminal charges, settlements, business contracts, and other types of problems that attorneys handle are often significant to their customer’s life. When a client hires you for a personal injury lawsuit, the settlement funds might be their only hope. Good customer service involves showing the client that you care about their case as much as they do.
One way to do this is keeping them informed of any updates. When an important milestone happens in their case, you should inform the client as soon as possible. Similarly, when there are unforeseen delays and mishaps, manage their expectations by explaining the problem. If you run an LLP, this practice should be reflected in the habits of all partners, too.
Creating a Lasting Impression
From start to finish, every stage of your interactions with a client is a chance to practice good customer service.
After closing a case, ensure that you give your client a follow-up call. You can ask how they are doing regarding the case and offer your advice should they need it in the future. This is also a great opportunity to ask for feedback and learn your law firm’s potential areas of improvement.