Want to grow your law firm?
Then provide exceptional customer—or client—service. That generates happy clients. And happy clients refer you to others.
Experts call this promotional approach “word of mouth advertising.” There’s nothing better for growing a business—nothing.
If you’re like many law firms, however, you’re not that good at customer service. Poor customer service can cost you, your clients. It can also short-circuit firm growth.
Improving customer service, on the other hand, offers numerous benefits. It can not only generate new clients but also boost profitability and brand loyalty.
Put simply, customer service is the lifeline of your business. In today’s competitive markets, you can’t afford to ignore customer service.
The biggest challenge for businesses is motivating employees to adopt a customer-centric attitude. Often, it’s more a question of will than skill.
Adopting a customer-centric attitude means providing positive experiences both before and after you acquire a client. That drives repeat business, customer loyalty, and firm profits.
The four best practices for instilling a customer-centric attitude are:
Amazon and Zappos are well-known examples of customer-centric brands. They’ve spent years cultivating a culture built around what the customer wants, and its paid dividends.
Here are seven steps you can take to boost skills needed for customer service at your firm:
A crucial step here is how you answer the phone. Make sure a human does it. It’s a tough task. Hire someone that is friendly, outgoing, and patient, that puts customers first, and that goes the extra mile to help clients. Once you find that person, empower him or her to make decisions and solve problems. Also, consider an answering service for 24/7 coverage.
Examine your intake process closely. Is it customer-focused? If not, make it so. If you don’t have a systematized intake system, create one. Start by identifying the steps need to onboard a client successfully. Review the tasks in the process. Then, streamline the process as much as possible. Also, make a checklist for every new client That way everyone knows what’s needed to onboard a client.
These documents are a critical part of the intake process for you and your clients. Create standard client agreements to serve as basic starting documents. That way everyone at the firm begins with the same basic deal. You can then tailor the agreements to meet the client’s situation. Then automate them. That streamlines the process, saves time, and eliminates errors.
Using standard forms also streamlines the process, saves time, and eliminates errors. Technology can help here. Software tailored to law firms can help you create document templates for the firm. Then make sure everyone can access them. You can then adapt these forms to your unique intake needs. These apps can also help improve the quality of your legal documents.
Explain policies and practices clearly when onboarding clients. That helps create a positive customer experience. It’s as critical as listening to a client’s story and discussing fees. Tell them things, like how you will answer their questions, how the billing process works, and how they’ll get notified of what’s happening with their case.
Customer-centric law firms track client activities, like scheduled meetings, court appointments, and follow-ups, closely. Store these details in one place. That way you can service your clients properly. Also, set reminders to let you know things like when to call back a client or notify them of developments in their cases. Setting reminders and so on helps prevent items from falling through the cracks.
Using email to communicate and collaborate with clients is not secure. Instead, use collaboration platforms and tools, like Basecamp, Trello, or Glasscubes, to help you and the members of your team manage onboarding tasks quickly and efficiently. They can also help you strip down legal project management to its necessary steps, integrate messaging, control file versioning on documents, and collaborate on writing things like legal briefs.
Use the seven proven tips above to improve customer service at your law firm. Providing epic customer services creates happy clients. Happy clients tell others. Experts call it word of mouth advertising. There’s nothing better than word of mouth advertising when it comes growing your firm—nothing.