Law firm leaders need to implement policies and procedures that strengthen the client relationship through the provision of excellent legal services, consistent client communications, and effective processes that promote client satisfaction.
Excellent Legal Services
The first expectation of any legal client is the receipt of exceptional legal services. They want attorneys who are skilled and experienced in their practice areas. Firms should take measures to attract and keep excellent attorneys and support staff within the firm. When making hiring decisions, firm leaders should consider the total picture of what individuals can bring to the firm and how they can be assets to clients.
Another important aspect of providing excellent legal services is seeing clients as people and not paychecks. When attorneys act in this manner, it takes the emphasis away from customer service. Whether stressing over a major business deal, facing a messy custody dispute, or proving their innocence, clients want to feel that their attorneys are compassionate about their case and not just using them to pay firm bills.
The past year has brought about some significant challenges to communication, but there are steps that law firms can take to ensure adequate communication with clients.
While some law firms amped up their client communications at the beginning of the pandemic, these efforts may have diminished as the months progressed. Yet, it is important to maintain those initial efforts at communication as a valuable opportunity to reinforce the firm’s commitment to client services until this pandemic is over.
Emails are a quick and convenient method for client communications but don’t underestimate the value of a phone call or face-to-face conversation. Remember that clients may still be feeling the pressures of the pandemic, from illness to financial strains to business concerns. Personal communications with their attorney can go a long way to making clients feel reassured and appreciated.
Personal touches should be consistent throughout all client communications. Firm lawyers and staff can inquire about clients’ well-being by asking about their families and businesses when reaching out for legal updates. Clients will appreciate the effort.
Client communications should always be honest and upfront. Sugarcoating difficult situations or keeping negative information from clients can lead to serious problems. The more information that clients receive from their attorneys, the more they will trust that the firm can continuously handle their legal matters in the midst of a pandemic.
From concerning domestic relations clients to nervous business owners, clients may continue reaching out more often than usual in search of advice and reassurance related to the pandemic. Lawyers need to respect these inquiries, addressing them in a timely and honest manner.
Listen to a Listening Ear
Attorneys should remember that client communication isn’t all about talking. Firm members need to practice active listening when communicating with clients, to ensure that they understand their needs and fears. The more attorneys understand client concerns, the more they can effectively advise and assist them.
To maintain client relationships throughout the pandemic, law firms must have procedures and processes in place that promote client convenience and trust. A large part of this goal is ensuring that the right legal technology is utilized. Law firms should consider the following:
While a phone call or email may be adequate for providing information, some conversations require face-to-face communication. If the pandemic continues to prevent in-person meetings, videoconferencing systems become a must.
Clients often may feel more confident and reassured by face-to-face conversations. Video conferencing capabilities allow attorneys to maintain connections with the clients, even when working from home.
Offer Billing Options
Clients want and expect quick and easy ways to view their invoices and pay them, which makes electronic billing a necessity. With the right tools, law firms can efficiently create and send client invoices so that clients can consistently receive updates about the status of their matters and be reassured that work is being completed in an adequate manner.
In addition to providing invoices, the right software also makes it quick and easy for clients to remit payment of invoices. Tools like client portals allow clients to independently log into their personal accounts to make credit card or ACH payments. TimeSolv legal billing system goes a step further by providing law firms with several automated payment options, including the ability to store client payment information for prescheduled automatic payments.
Offer Accuracy and Consistency
Clients expect accuracy and consistency from their attorneys. One way to meet these expectations is with a time tracking tool that lawyers can use to track matter time quickly and conveniently. TimeSolv’s time tracking app can be used virtually anywhere in the world. With a smartphone or tablet, timekeepers can keep track of time, even without an internet connection. This timely tracking promotes the accuracy and avoids the delays that can damage client relationships.
Make the Effort to Manage Client Relationships During these Challenging Times
As the pandemic continues, it is important for law firms to promote effective client relationships. Excellent services, consistent communication, and efficient processes can go a long way in supporting the attorney-client relationship. To learn more about TimeSolv’s legal billing option, click this website link for a free, no-obligation trial.