SmallLaw, a popular email newsletter for solo practitioners and those who manage and work in small law firms, reviews hundreds of articles published every week. From these articles, they select one as their SmallLaw Pick of the Week — something they feel is a must-read for this audience.
While I’m making merry over the holidays, I’m going to reprint the posts that have earned us the SmallLaw Pick of the Week. Here’s the first one:
How to Create a Legendary Customer Service Culture for Your Law Firm
One of the best ways to differentiate your law firm from your competitors is to micromanage the client experience.
Think about the best customer service you have ever experienced. Most likely you paid more for it, but the way you were treated left no doubt in your mind that you were getting a true value for your money.
There are four keys to micromanaging the client experience:
Analyze every impact point. Impact points are every way a client comes into contact with your firm, from the first phone call to the final invoice and exit interview.
Develop standards, protocols and systems. You need to train your people on exactly how you want the phone answered, what the answers are to frequently asked questions, the process for signing up a client, and so on. Every part of the intake process needs to be standardized.
Train your people to work the system. Train, test and retest your people on your system. Provide public reinforcement by praising them when they go above and beyond. Get rid of the people who don’t follow your system. Without a system, you cannot scale your law firm!
Focus on the client’s experience of your law firm. Here’s a checklist for creating a unique and powerful experience for clients by treating them like VIPs (without spending a lot of money):
- Greet client/prospect by name when they walk into the office
- Have a relaxing, non-legal looking lobby
- Offer a beverage from a menu of drinks
- Conference room reserved with their name on it
- 5 minute wait rule in the lobby
- Staff acknowledgment and greeting
- No forms to fill out at the initial consultation
- Provide a bottle of water for the road
- Validate/pay for their parking
- Communication immediately after the initial consultation
- Regular email follow-up after they become a client
- Educational emails about the legal process for the first 90 days after they become a client
- Scheduled phone calls by paralegals to update the client about their case
- Monthly educational and informational e-newsletters
- Exit interviews with every client at the end of their matter
Too often, micromanagement is seen as a bad thing – but that is not the case when it comes to ensuring your clients have the best possible experience with your firm. You not only want them to return and refer, you want the word on your good reputation to be spread. This can only be accomplished by paying very close and careful attention to managing the experience your clients have with your firm.
This is so important for law firms that we spend several hours on this topic at every Rainmaker Retreat. If you’d like to learn more about how to create a legendary customer service culture for your firm, then I invite you to attend one of our upcoming sessions. You can register online right now or visit RainmakerRetreat.com for more information.