Most firms do not utilize or consider their staff important to the law firm’s marketing efforts. This is unfortunate, since every employee can be an ambassador for the firm. If staff is aware of the marketing goals, and is considered a valuable part of the team, they can actually help bring in business. Marketing guru Tom Peters comments on a recent Wall Street Journal story on internal marketing, where he emphasized how critical it is for employees to help sell a firm.
On a basic level, staff often have more contact with clients than the lawyers. A receptionist can be vital to how the firm is perceived by the way he/she treats callers. Helpful secretaries who try to assist the client rather than push them into voicemail or simply take a message, can avoid turning off clients. Communications by everyone in the firm can have beneficial effects. Since most client complaints involve the lawyers’ failure to communicate, empower your staff (secretaries, paralegals) to return phone calls and update clients on their matter. Such actions will not replace the need for the lawyer to communicate with clients, but it can supplement it and reap great rewards.