A 2014 Princeton University study concluded that people generally have a serious lack of trust in the legal profession. In fact, the lack of trust exemplified by the study almost mirrored the level of public distrust for prostitutes. Ouch! How can one of the oldest (pun intended) and most prestigious of all professions measure so incredibly low on the scale of trustworthiness? I have three words for you – poor customer service.
Let’s be honest. When most people think of the legal industry, customer service is not the first (or second or third) descriptor that comes to mind. While there are countless lawyers out there providing excellent customer service to their clients, there are unfortunately many who do not even make an effort. But good customer service is no longer an option into today’s competitive legal market. Consumers have become increasingly savvy about the level of service they receive when spending their hard earned dollars, and these high expectations include quality legal services.
Take a minute to consider where your firm lies on the customer service scale.
- When was the last time you analyzed the level of client service you and your staff are providing?
- Do you have client service policies in place for staff members to follow?
- Have you ever utilized a client satisfaction survey?
- How many client referrals did you receive last month?
- How many client complaints have you received in the past month?
- Are your associates required to return client calls within a specific time period?
- Are your time tracking systems accurate?
- Are your bills appropriately detailed and timely?
If none of these questions made you cringe – Congratulations! Your practice is already providing quality services to the clients who trust you with their most important legal matters. However, if these questions left you feeling uncomfortable or unsure, you may have some serious work to do.
Taking Your Customer Service Temperature
If you aren’t sure where your firm falls on the customer service spectrum, try simply asking the question. A customer service survey is an effective way to gauge the experience of your clients when working with your firm. For current clients, you may choose to make it a routine part of closing out the case. It could also prove beneficial to send the survey to former clients. Not only will it help you shape your client service goals, but it may even spark some repeat business.
Once you assess the quality of customer service provided by your firm, it’s time to make necessary changes and tweaks. What are your clients’ biggest complaints? If unreturned messages are causing a problem, a return call policy may be in order. Cost complaints may be best handled with flat fee arrangements or the implementation of project management systems.
If your customer service problems stem from time tracking and billing issues, then TimeSolv legal billing software is a must have resource for your legal practice. Their convenient time tracking systems assist with accuracy, while their innovative billing features promote efficient and timely bills. With exemplary customer service standards, TimeSolv will show you how it feels to be treated like the most important client in the world. Click here to learn all the ways that TimeSolv helps your practice provide excellent customer service.
About Erika Winston:
Erika Winston is a freelance writer with a passion for law. Through her business, The Legal Writing Studio, she helps legal professionals deliver effective written messages. Erika is a regular contributor to TimeSolv and a variety of other publications.