This is because clients don’t really understand the law, so they don’t know how to judge if an attorney is good at practicing law. Instead, they are judging you on the intangibles, and comparing you not to other attorneys but to other experiences they have had as a customer.
Therefore, your competition is not always the law firm down the street, it’s Amazon or Apple or any other business that has taught consumers what to expect when it comes to best-in-class for customer service.
Here are five tips for law firms on how to build client loyalty through exceptional service:
- Fast delivery. The law is often a plodding thing, but clients don’t really understand that. They expect you to produce what they need quickly, so if something is going to take a week or so, then tell them that. It’s up to you to manage expectations. Give them a date and stick to it.
- Benchmark against the best in service. Don’t make the mistake of benchmarking your service delivery against other law firms; that won’t cut it these days. Instead, benchmark yourself against the best in service-intensive sectors like hospitality, financial services, etc. Do you make it easy to do business with you online? If not, you have an easy, technology-based way to differentiate yourself immediately.
- Take your client’s side in service disputes. It can be hard to drop a courtroom mindset when dealing with clients, but you must. You need to apologize for lapses in service and show empathy, no matter who is at fault. Your staff needs to adopt this approach as well.
- Scale your rates reasonably. If you’re charging clients several hundred dollars an hour for mundane tasks like proofreading, find a way to get that down. Your bills should explain all charges – and you should explain your fees in plain English upfront. And don’t charge clients for lunches or lattes you would have had on your own anyway – those are the things they will likely remember the longest about their experience with your firm.
- Remember that every client defines service differently. Every client is unique and wants to be treated as such. Get to know your clients personally so you can anticipate their needs and hire people who are naturally empathetic so your clients will feel that you do truly care for them as an individual, not just a case number.
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