Don’t Let Your Bad Service Be A Business-Builder For A Competing Firm.
Take it or leave it. That used to be the attitude of many firms a few years ago. There was an idea that if one offered a service, it was enough to get clients in the door and make them happy. And for the most part, clients went with it. When there was a “breakup,” it likely came after a protracted period of customer dissatisfaction.
No more. The landscape has changed.
There has been a fundamental shift in power from brands to consumers driven largely by digital innovation. Clients have instant access to huge amounts of information online. They have choices. Firms are being held accountable in every area—especially customer service.
The good news? Adopting a client-centric approach to practice management is not difficult and it can help generate more revenue. Here are six areas your team at Lexicon recommends you focus on:
This is where the client experience starts and sets the tone for the relationship. It often begins well before the first conversation as clients are searching for an attorney. Ensure your marketing represents your brand well with a cohesive message across all channels and that you are findable, accessible, and active on those platforms.
Then, how do you take their first call? Analyze these areas:
• Speed to answer – Are you answering within 3 rings or are you making potential clients wait?
• Voicemail practices – Do you actually answer the phone or are potential clients sent to a black hole of voicemail anxiously wondering if they’ll even get a response?
• Tone of voice – Answer with a smile. Do you sound friendly and helpful?
• Associate helpfulness – Make sure you listen and understand…don’t just follow a script.
Finally, it’s time to take a look at these areas of client onboarding:
• First call – Did you deliver a good experience and does the client feel optimistic?
• Online scheduling – Was scheduling efficient?
• Attorney availability – Could the client easily get in and get in at a time that works for them?
• Intake forms – Were they efficient? Better yet, are they electronic?
In your first (and every) meeting, you should take the opportunity to position yourself as a true partner to your client.
• Ask questions
• Be open—not critical
• Show appreciation
It’s okay to tell others that you know your stuff—in thoughtful ways. Use your in-depth knowledge to position yourself as an expert and build credibility. And while it’s always great to author your own work, just sharing (while citing) also shows you’re a partner to your clients. Consider these tactics:
• Case studies
• White papers
• Thought leadership
Effective, consistent communication throughout the case and after increases client satisfaction, which increases collection rate, referrals and repeat business.
• Be forthcoming about costs
• Set realistic goals and expectations
• Listen and ask questions
Feedback is a gift—it gives insight on your performance and allows you to improve.
• Follow up with clients and ask for feedback
• Ask clients to review you on social and online review sites
• Have a plan for addressing negative feedback
• Institute a quality system
A robust practice management software package (may we suggest Lexicon?) can help you capture the data needed to strengthen client relationships.
• Stores contact information, previous interactions, biographical information and legal needs, allowing for more personalized communication.
• Allows user to analyze workflows, relationships and success rate.
• Allows for customized workflows to set follow-ups or other communication reminders.
Ready to take your firm to the next level? Use these tips to get started and get in touch with Lexicon—we’ve been building better firms for over 12 years.
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