5 Steps to a Better Customer Experience with your Law Firm
Updated: Feb 22, 2022
Think of a time in your life when you have had a negative experience with a business. What are the odds that you are willing to return and do business with them again? What about the odds that you would recommend that business to your friends and family? What is Client Experience?
A client experience extends over the entire client journey with your firm. From the first moment that someone gets to your website, to the first phone call, to every email correspondence back and forth, clients are subconsciously rating their experience with your firm. Positive experiences are often overlooked, while negative experiences will never be forgotten. Taking care to ensure that your client’s experience is positive will lead to the best marketing of all; word of mouth.
Five Steps to a Better Client Experience in Your Law Firm:
Set Clear Expectations
Educate AND communicate
Understand their experience
Automate through technology
Be Proactive, not Reactive
Set Clear Expectations
When bringing on a new client it is crucial to set their expectations up-front. Be sure to let them know how frequently you plan on communicating with them. If it seems like their case will take a long time to settle, let them know that based on your experience, you think the duration of the case could be X amount of time. Let them know that a lot of things throughout the case are not necessarily in your control, that oftentimes you send off documents and do not get a response for weeks and months at a time. Your client should know that if any additional things are needed from them, you will reach out. Prepare the client in a way that they do not get worried if they do not hear from you for weeks a time.
By setting clear expectations you will instill confidence in your clients that they made the right decision in hiring YOU as their attorney.
Educate AND Communicate: With so much going on in the background of a legal case, communication needs to be clear and frequent. The average person knows very little about the intricacies of the law. As a legal professional, it is your responsibility to communicate with and educate the client about the process of their case. It is not simply enough to keep a client in the loop, but it is necessary for the client to actually feel like they understand what is going on in the background. Bear in mind that the legal jargon that you have picked up between law school and practicing law will often be over the head of your clients. Simplify what you communicate and seek to leave every client feeling like they truly understand what it is that you are doing for them.
Understand their Experience As a legal professional, you have been on the professional side of hundreds (or thousands) of legal cases. Have you ever been on the client-side of a legal matter? Here are some of the thoughts and questions going through your client’s heads:
What is my attorney doing?
How long does this process take?
Do I need to do anything additional with my case?
What are the major Milestones in my case?
Should I reach out to my attorney and ask for a status update?
WHERE IS MY MONEY?
It is crucial for you to take a step back and fine-tune your client engagement from the eyes of your clients. As you get a better understanding of your client's needs, you will be able to tailor your engagement with them to create the best experience possible.
Automate through Technology What do you use to manage your cases and clients? Many law firms are using some iteration of a Client Relationship Management (CRM) system to help manage their caseload. Often in the legal realm, these systems are referred to as “Case Management Systems.“ Click here to see some comparisons of some of the best case management systems. With all of your cases being properly managed, legal professionals are able to automate much of the client communication. Legal client portals such as Milestones are able to look for updates in your case management system, and then automatically send notifications to your clients as to what is going on in their case. Alongside these updates, clients are able to navigate through the process of their case and view educational explanations of how the case works. In 2022, technology is allowing law firms to function more efficiently while also providing a better experience for their clients.
Be Proactive, not Reactive A law firm’s goal should be to beat its clients to the punch.
It is great to respond quickly to a client's email regarding the status of their case but it is better to anticipate questions and proactively keep the client in the loop.
It is important to bear in mind that just because a client has not reached out, it does not mean they feel confident about what is going on in their case. Some clients will be timider than others when it comes to asking questions and seeking information. Being proactive will please both the questioning and timid clients of your firm.
Conclusion: When clients leave your law firm confident that they made the right choice, it will affect your business in more than one way. A happy client will be sure to call you the next time they have a case. That same client will energetically share the word with their friends and family that they have the best attorney in the world! Through a consistently good client experience, you will turn every client into a sales representative for your firm.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR CLIENTS AND THEY WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU.