Customer Service And Client Experience With Law Firms
Just because you're law firm's not a boutique, that doesn't mean you don't need to boost your customer service strategy. There's more to client satisfaction than just doing well in court and other legal tasks. The better your client's experience with your law firm, the more likely they will give good reviews and recommend you to people they know.
Why Is Client Service Important To A Law Firm?
That said, exceptional client service in law firms can affect how people will perceive you. If clients had a bad time working with you, they'd probably tell their friends and family about it. They'll probably leave you a very low rating on Google Reviews for other prospective clients to see.
That said, you don't need a full-blown customer service department to maintain client experience for your law firm.
4 Ways To Boost Law Firm Client Experience
Here are a few tips that might help boost the overall client experience:
1. Return Calls
Keeping communication lines open is crucial for any client relationship. So regardless of whether you're busy or preoccupied with another case when the calls were being made, you should still call your clients back.
Remember: Even if you have to tell the client that there has been no progress or nothing has changed, hearing from you can sometimes be enough. Calling them back is a sign that you're paying attention to them and not simply ignoring your concerns.
Returning a call three days later to say you were busy with other clients does not sit well with someone paying you to work for them.
2. Send Updates Regularly
Even better than promptly returning phone calls is calling your clients and informing them of the current progress of their case.
Remember: Your clients entrust their problems to you. They might feel helpless and may not completely understand what is going on. However, they'll want to be reassured and be kept updated on how you and their case is doing.
They don't know much about the complexities of the law, but you do. So it's a good idea to send your client a status report regularly. Alternatively, you might simply call your client as soon as something new happens. Even when there is no information, clients like to feel informed.
3. Create Schedules And Share Them To Your Clients
Actual deadlines, such as filings, must be met at all times. In addition, other deadlines must be met, such as when the client requests something or when you promised something.
Remember: When you do make promises, there may be situations that impede timely delivery. Always be sure to tell clients of this and let them know if a late delivery is a possibility.
Understandably, clients get antsy. That's why they make calls and ask you how their case is going. It's also why they need to be given updates as often as you can.
Instead of leaving your clients to wait for the unknown, you should give them a timeline of how a case will go down. Even if it's just an estimated timeline, having goals gives your clients something to grasp and anticipate.
4. Consider Your Tone Of Voice And Attitude
Not every client will react and participate in your work the same way. However, considering what lawyers do, it's likely that your clients have personal problems on top of their legal battles, so you might want to watch how you communicate and treat them.
Family Law Attorneys are more likely to be more openly compassionate with clients, especially when Family Law problems tend to be delicate matters. Alternatively, Criminal Defense Attorneys and their clients might benefit from being more straightforward and brutally honest about their current situation.
Still, as a lawyer, you should try to read the room before saying something to a client. Your overall attitude—including tone, communication style, and delivery when speaking to clients—is important in client experience.
Admittedly, all of the things listed above don't necessarily affect your expertise of the law. They're not technical skillsets. They are, however, a huge factor in how clients perceive you.
These actions also affect how clients feel about you. If they end up having a difficult time communicating or working with you, they'll remember how terrible that experience is. They might even go for a different lawyer next time, depending on how bad of an impression you made—regardless if it's unintentional.
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