How To Improve Customer Service Within Your Law Firm
Strong customer service is the backbone of any successful business, often leading to improved customer retention and acquisition. It can also go a long way when seeking referrals, as consumers are more likely to recommend brands and businesses they’ve had positive experiences with to others.
As a result, improving your customer service skills should be one of your business goals for 2023.
Why is good customer service important for your law firm?
Customer – or client – service is important because it feeds into your reputation. As a result, it can be a driving factor that helps you secure important contracts and repeat clients. In fact, a recent study found that “90% of Americans use customer service as a factor in deciding whether or not to do business with a company.”
What are some client service mistakes that lawyers make?
Between juggling contracts and attending court cases, it’s easy for customer service to become sidelined in favor of more ‘important’ tasks and duties. However, failing to address these issues will only lead to customer dissatisfaction and poor reviews. It could even mean you find it hard to build a client roster moving forward.
One of the biggest customer service complaints reported by law firms pertains to communication. For example, those seeking legal support and guidance often want prompt, efficient responses from their legal team. Despite this, “more than 40% of people who leave a voicemail or fill out a web form wait two or three days before they hear back.”
Communication is a clear pain point for many firms, with Collective Campus suggesting that this will continue to cause problems moving forward, as “millennial clients will default to legal providers that are available 24/7 or respond to inquiries with dispatch.“
How can I improve customer service at my law firm?
Make it easier for your clients to reach you.
While clients should not expect their lawyers to be available at the drop of a hat, they should be able to get in touch with you easily. As such, you should provide them with various ways to reach out; this could include:
- Instant Messaging
- Telephone/Customer hotline
You should also have a conversation with your clients during the onboarding stage to set realistic expectations regarding your communication schedule. For example, if they are informed ahead of time that they will receive weekly updates, they’re less likely to send email after email checking in. This also gives them a chance to request more frequent communication if necessary.
Switch up your communication style.
Different clients will have different expectations when it comes to the way in which you communicate with them. For example, some may be keen to maintain a certain level of formality during your exchanges, whereas others prefer a more personable approach.
This means you should be prepared to change your communication style when working with different clients. This can be achieved by mirroring their behavior.
Anticipate customer needs and desires.
While the finer details of each case will vary, clients often come to you for a specific reason. As a result, their needs and desires are often comparable.
For example, they often seek clear, concise instructions on how to proceed. You can anticipate this by having systems that provide them with easy access to this information. This could mean you curate a simple, easy-to-read document that breaks down the legal process and their client lifecycle journey with your firm. This way, they’ll better understand their situation and feel more confident in trusting you to help them.
Many clients also expect a certain level of empathy and understanding from their lawyers during this time. They’re coming to you because they need support – and you must provide emotional support, too. This is because “empathetic attorneys anticipate client needs, concerns, and frustrations, and they can serve their clients at a deeper level, which increases client loyalty.”
Work on your onboarding process.
Optimizing your client intake process is another great way to improve customer service across your firm. This is because having an onboarding system in place reduces the administrative workload new clients face and makes it easier for you to kickstart your relationship with them.
As a result, you can ensure you form a strong bond sooner rather than later. This means they’re more likely to think of you from a space of positivity, even if their case does not achieve their desired outcome.
There are many ways in which you can improve customer service within your law firm – especially when it comes to changing your communication style. Doing so will make it easier for you to build a roster of returning clients while also receiving work through referrals.
However, it’s no secret that good customer service takes time out of your day. The hours dedicated to these duties are hours and minutes that many working professionals do not have at their expense.
At FinOp Group, we can take a wide range of time-consuming administrative and financial tasks off your hands so that you can focus o what matters most – building a relationship with your clients.
Get in touch today to find out more or to schedule a free consultation.