Of all the consumer experiences out there, law firms tend to lag behind when it comes to customer service.
Although there have been notable exceptions to this rule (like the injury law firm of Jeffrey Glassman, which has provided outstanding service to the citizens of Boston and the state of Massachusetts over the past two decades, which has resulted in an A+ rating by the BBB), there are many firms that have much room for improvement in how they interact with the public.
How can customer service become a cornerstone of your law firm? Below, we share share several tips that will help improve the image of your practice in the eyes of your clients.
Fixing your firm’s first points of contact should be top priority
Your client’s first interaction with your law firm provides the biggest opportunity for improvements in customer service.
Does your website make it easy for potential customers to find the information they need? When they call your firm, does the phone get answered quickly and efficiently, or do they get redirected to a voice messaging system that is impossible to navigate?
By assessing the usability of your web portal, you can make improvements that will make it easy for potential clients to see whether your firm is a good fit.
By manning your phones with a personable and intelligent secretary, you will leave a positive first impression with those that are seeking your firm’s help.
Benchmark companies lauded for positive customer relations
Figuring out how to deliver good customer service shouldn’t be like trying to reinvent the wheel. There are many companies out there that do an exemplary job of serving their customers – analyze what they do, and copy them.
While many of their practices may not be directly applicable to a law firm, the principles behind them are. For example, Zappos makes it very easy for their customers to return shoes.
While law firms offer a service and not a product, they can learn from this by simplifying the client’s experience, which will make it easier for them to choose your firm.
Make an effort to see your firm through the eyes of your clients
As business owners, we grow so accustomed to how things work on the inside that it skews our perspective of how the external parts of it feel to our customers.
The best way of assessing this is to survey your customers to see how the firm is performing, and where it could improve.
However, you can get a jump start on this by making your best effort to see your firm through the eyes of a customer.
Based on what you find, you may be able to make some quick changes that will make a difference immediately.
Keep your clients informed on the progress of their case
Of all the complaints that clients have concerning law firms, the biggest revolve the lack of information they are getting regarding the progress of their case.
We all know how busy law firms can get from time to time, which makes it easy for some clients to get lost in the shuffle.
Having gone weeks without a status update, they feel like a second-class citizen, and they may choose to withdraw their business from the firm.
By staying on top of client files using top-of-the-line customer management software, and then following through by making phone calls when benchmarks are reached (or every two weeks), you will avoid fostering the perception that you don’t care about them.
Even if nothing of significance has happened over the past two weeks, a simple phone call to let them know that the sluggish pace of the legal system have slowed the progress of their case will be much appreciated by the client.