Not only should you make your staff part of the marketing team, you should empower them in ways that can increase their effectiveness in assisting clients and improving the image (brand) of your law firm.
Joseph’s Marketing Blog talks about the power of empowerment in a recent post and a couple of points are worthy of consideration in the legal marketing environment.
Clients are no different than Joseph’s “customers”. Clients want immediate answers or at least helpful information when they want it. Depending on the size of your office, allow the staff (receptionist, secretary, paralegal) to act and speak on your behalf within certain parameters. At least your secretary should be so empowered. Yes, I know, that means giving up a certain degree of control. But that is what empowerment is all about.
The best way to empower staff is to make sure they feel appreciated and know that they play a vital role in the ongoing health of the law firm. Then, train your staff to be helpful rather than mere functionaries when clients call. There is nothing worse than passing a caller off to someone else or to voicemail without so much as a word, and it doesn’t improve the firm’s image much when your staff doesn’t inquire as to whether they could help in some way.
An example of empowerment might include allowing a staff person to tell a caller that you will call them back before the end of the day, or otherwise respond to certain requests from clients. This assumes communication between the lawyer and staff as to what those parameters are. So, give some thought to other ways you can empower your staff to help your clients. Remember, the ultimate goal is to make clients happy.