More than a quality legal product is necessary to retain clients. Both quality service and trust are keys to keeping clients happy (the best source of new business and referrals). Since most clients are not lawyers themselves, they do not understand the quality of your legal work. They only know about results and the quality of the services rendered.
The better clients feel relating to how they and their matter were treated, the more trust they have in their lawyer. And that results in more work and referrals from clients which are critical for the success of any law firm.
- Give new clients a starter kit (with contact names, telephone and e-mail info, firm’s policy and procedures in handling matters),
- Get to know their business and the big picture (take time to ask smart questions and listen, even visit the client’s place of business at no charge),
- Learn your client’s expectations and exceed them (goals for matter, frequency of communications, deadlines and the like),
- Keep your promises (especially on deadlines),
- Promptly return phone calls and e-mails (preferably the same day),
- Ask client for the preferred method of communications (telephone, mail, e-mail)
- Introduce (in-person, if possible, or by letter or e-mail) each member of the team (staff and professionals) who will work on their matter,
- Don’t overlawyer (client may not want the “perfect” solution. See No.3 above),
- No surprises (as to invoices or anything else for that matter), and
- Show your appreciation to the client for their business (by sending a gift, a referral, entertaining them, offering free advice, etc.
- How Does Your Customer Service Rate?
- How Are Your Client Communication Skills? A Success or Failure?
- Managing Client Expectations
As John reminds us, a lot more is involved in lawyer marketing that just providing quality legal work.