There’s no dancing around it – with the internet at our fingertips, we can easily find multiple sources to provide any given service for us anytime we need. This can make it difficult to stand out among your competitors. But all of the marketing campaigns and advertising dollars spent mean absolutely nothing if you can’t deliver an experience unlike the rest! In an age of quick service and automation, people are feeling an increased need to be heard. They are missing that personalized service that goes above and beyond – so let’s do what we can to bring it back! You’ll be the most popular attorney in town after implementing these tips.
Focusing on top-notch customer service is the key to landing and retaining clients for your law firm.
Let’s face it. There are only so many practice areas for attorneys. Once each of those is filled in a geographic region, there needs to be a reason for a potential client to choose one estate planning (or criminal law or family law… you get the point) attorney over the other. This is where top-notch service comes in! Your clients will almost always gravitate towards the person who makes them feel the most comfortable with their case, keeps them informed, and speaks to them at a human to human level.
How can I improve the customer service my law firm provides?
We’ve talked before about the number one bar complaint being a failure to communicate. The first place to start when upping your customer service ante is by making sure that you are keeping your client in the loop with every step! Received their inquiry on your service? Automate an email to let them know what to expect from your firm. Completed their client intake? Send them an email with a recap and timeline of the next events. Working on their documents? Have your assistant reach out to let them know about their progress and when they will hear from you next. Communicate every detail so that your clients understand the (sometimes) scary legal processes. Not only does this make them more comfortable with you, but this will also save you time and headache later when they aren’t blowing up your phones for answers!
Take your communication one step further.
A large part of customer service is proving that your clients can trust you. To do this, you need to go over the top with communication, organization, and professionalism. Do you answer the phone with “Hello?” or is it more like “Thank you for calling XX Law Office, how can I assist you?” Answer this: Which one would you be more likely to trust?
Set a process in place that everyone who answers the phone must follow. We call this a Call Flow Blueprint and create one for every law firm we work with. Start by asking yourself the following questions, then put them all down to paper.
- What types of calls would you like immediately transferred to your office?
- How soon will you handle client messages?
- Can your receptionist relay quick details on their case to provide the client with some instant gratification?
- What about a timeline process that you follow so that your clients can know exactly what stage they are in and what to expect going forward?
- Is your payment schedule easy to understand?
- How do you handle scheduling for potential new clients? What about follow up appointments for existing clients?
It’s a lot of work to keep your organization in check and instill trust through your communication. But your clients will thank you for it, and to be honest, so will your bank account!
Okay, so now you’re being sure to communicate. What can you do past that?
A law firm isn’t a fruity place where you can offer cucumber mint water in the waiting room. Or is it? Nobody wants to need your service. If anything, they hope to avoid needing to speak to a lawyer forever! Sorry to say it but you are right there with the dreaded auto mechanic – people don’t want to have to need you. Since they do need your service and are probably unhappy about it, the least you can do is make it a more enjoyable place to spend an afternoon. Pull out the cucumber mint water, set a cookie tray on the coffee table, keep the magazine stack updated, and have some enjoyable music playing in the waiting room. Do what you can to make your clients feel better about needing you before they even step into your office.
The most important step to stellar customer service in your law firm.
Alright, so now you’re communicating and you’ve freshened up the waiting room to your office. What’s left to create a stellar experience for your clients and potential clients?
If there is one thing that stands out more than anything in customer service, it is being friendly and polite. Someone can be quick to forget that you made a mistake or didn’t follow up with them but they will never forget that you were rude or short – on the phone, in person, or especially in a curt email. We all know the world isn’t always kind. Negativity spreads like wildfire through social media and it is the fastest way to get bad press for your firm.
Stand out instead by:
- owning up to your mistakes
- asking for documents or needed information nicely
- apologizing when you are wrong
- smiling when you speak
- checking to be sure that your wording is coming across as friendly as possible
You want to be professional but you also want your clients to view you as someone on their side. Being friendly, compassionate, and understanding is the first step to doing so!
Feeling inspired by this post? Make one little change to your law firm today that pushes your customer service over the edge!
If you’re ready to truly wow your customers with impeccable customer service at the hands of relentlessly friendly virtual receptionists, sign up for a one-week free trial. Your clients will definitely notice the difference!