What makes top law firms stand out from the crowd? Is it their reputation for success? Probably, but I’m willing to bet that it also lies in the way they treat their clients. The illustrious Maya Angelou once said, “At the end of the day, people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” Now, I admit that a substantial settlement amount is hard for anyone to forget, but you are also making a lasting impression by the way that you treat each and every client.
Think about it. People love to share their experiences and opinions about businesses. Yelp is one of the internet’s most popular sites. Amazon and eBay are brimming with customer reviews. We are a nation of opinionated consumers and your law office is not immune. So, how do you provide your clients with the type of value that will make them run and tell their friends about your practice? Well, obviously quality legal service is a must. But I’m going to go into some of the not-so-obvious nuances of making your clients happy.
Value their time
I get it. You are a lawyer and your time is worth money, but what makes you think your clients’ time is not just as valuable? When a client has to wait unreasonably long for answers to their questions and updates on their cases, feelings of dissatisfaction are fueled. Use your resources effectively to provide your clients with a level of interaction that meets their needs, while also strengthening your customer service.
For example, make sure that messages are returned within 24 hours. I know this can be extremely challenging, but your administrative assistant can prove priceless in this regard. In most cases, a call from your legal assistant is enough to provide some clarity and satisfy your client’s request. You can also demonstrate how much you value their time by starting meetings on time and sending out timely billing statements. Each small effort on your part can go a long way in strengthening your attorney-client relationship.
Recognize their needs
I know an attorney in Ohio who practices in an area with an extremely high unemployment rate. Each week, she posts local job openings on her website and social media accounts. She does this to assist her community and the people served by her law firm. This extra value shows that she has a vested interest in the well-being of her clients, and just imagine if one of them secured a job from an opportunity she posted. He or she will remember her efforts and likely sing her praises for years to come. But even more importantly, she gets the satisfaction of knowing that her extra efforts helped someone in need… and isn’t that why you wanted to be a lawyer in the first place?
A little more effort now can turn into a lasting reputation for customer value and impeccable service. Take some time to look at your practice and see how you can improve the experience of working with you and your law practice.
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.