Your law firm's clients are the people who keep your business up and running - so it is crucial to build strong relationships with them and go the extra mile to make them feel appreciated. Showing appreciation doesn’t have to be expensive either. It can be in the form of small gestures or even simply the way your law firm operates.
Client appreciation can be a determining factor for many legal clients. It will often determine if they want to stay loyal to your law firm or refer you to their friends and family. In fact, superior client care is a foundation block for legal marketing. Here are some ways to show your clients that you genuinely care about them.
Make Yourself Available
Responding to web leads, answering the phone, texting clients back, and responding to emails can get overwhelming in the age of the modern law firm. However, when you don’t respond to a lead in a timely manner, they are onto the next law firm. Staying proactive with your prospective clients and current clients is essential to running a successful law firm.
- Be responsive and accessible. Never let a client wait more than 24 hours to receive a response from you. Clients should feel like they have a good chance of getting through to you.
- Provide several ways for your client to contact you. Whether it be via cell phone, email, text, or social media, a client should have more than one communication outlet.
- Case management software like CASEpeer has a built-in texting feature that lets attorneys and staff text their clients without giving out a personal cell phone number.
Regularly Update Your Clients
Clients like to feel in the loop. It is the lawyer’s job to regularly relay messages relating to updates on their case or the law firm. Communication is a two-way street. Your client shouldn’t always be the one having to reach out regarding the status of their case. Being proactive about client contact is not only good customer care, but also reduces the number of interruptions throughout the week from incoming calls.
- Making sure clients are up to date on the details of their case will make them feel appreciated and also create a sense of transparency.
- Clients will feel more confident in your judgment if they are kept up to date on new developments in their case.
- In CASEpeer and other legal software, clients can log into their client portal to see updates made to a case in real-time whenever they please.
Connect Personally With Your Client
Connecting personally with a client will help them feel like you are in their corner amid the stressful legal process. Try not to appear cold by being too professional. From the start, it’s important to treat your clients with respect and compassion.
- Be an advocate for your clients. Show them that you are truly on their side and are fighting hard on their case. When a client feels that you are truly engaged in their circumstances, they are more likely to refer you to a friend.
- Go the extra mile for your clients. Know what your clients want before they know it themselves. Clients will be impressed with your services if you offer them the information they didn’t know they needed.
- Follow up with current and prospective clients. Clients appreciate it when their attorney reaches out to them to see how they are doing amid the stress of their case. Make it a priority to follow up with clients and see how you can be of assistance to them.
Put Yourself in Your Clients Shoes
Being sympathetic is always a nice gesture, but being empathetic towards your clients goes a lot further. Empathy means experiencing someone else’s feelings, while sympathy means understanding someone else’s suffering. Both are great ways to show your clients you care about them, but empathy requires some more emotional digging that will really show clients you know what it feels like to be in their shoes. Here are some ways you can speak to your clients with empathy:
- Focus on the client, not yourself
- Help the client feel heard
- Acknowledge the client’s point of view and learn more by asking clarifying questions
- Go into the conversation with a kind heart and open mind
- Stay away from gossip, negativity, complaining, and excuses
- Slow down – Be more aware and present to your emotions
- Have curiosity and care for your client’s story
- Recognize your own judgment and biases
- Don’t try to solve their problems
To practice empathy effectively, you must put aside your own viewpoints and see things from your client’s perspective. Give your client your full attention when you are talking with them and keep an eye out for both verbal and nonverbal cues that will help you fully understand their situation. Practice empathy often to show you are interested in what your clients think, feel, and experience. Doing so will result in a reputation of being trustworthy and approachable.
Now it’s time to take action on showing love and appreciation to your clients. This February, and every month moving forward, remember to be responsive and make yourself available to your clients. Regularly update them on case-specific matters, and make an effort to personally and empathetically connect with them. Be there for your clients whenever you can and show them you care. A happy client will turn into a referral source for life.