Have you ever considered how your clients and prospects view your firm in terms of customer service? It’s probably not a surprise that many clients of law firms are unhappy with the service they receive.
Studies show lawyers fail at those all-important first impressions, as well as some second and third impressions as well. 78 per cent of law firms fail to make a good first impression. While 45 per cent of law firms make their customers want to call a competitor, and around one-third of dealings with a law firm would turn a customer off working with them entirely.
And the scary figures continue. An incredible 98 per cent of legal advisors don’t tell their clients what they can expect next. 71 per cent of follow up is conducted by the client, not the lawyer. Over half of all online enquiries receive no response at all.
When clients’ needs are tedious, repetitive and time-consuming, it’s easy to understand why law firms often fall short with customer service.
Fortunately, by making some simple tweaks to your firm’s customer service strategies, you can put your clients’ needs first while freeing yourself up to do the more important or complex tasks.
Here are 3 ways you can improve your client experience.
1. Remember the Basics
Think about it, most areas of law can bring out the worst in people. Going back to the basics of customer service will help significantly. There are a few ways you can do this:
Improve first contact
Who you have answering your phone and responding to online enquiries is vital to make a good first impression. They need to have strong people skills and the ability to make proactive, problem-solving decisions with encouragement from you.
Clients respond well when they are treated with respect and are listened to, but also when they interact with someone who is knowledgeable and has authority. It builds trust in your ability to manage their needs effectively.
Respond to all enquiries
As mentioned above, a large number of enquiries go completely unanswered. That’s not even poorly responded to, but not responded to at all.
There are systems out there to help manage this but one in particular, Zaliet Service Portal, you can cut these lost enquiries immediately. You can track your enquiries as well as create automated responses so your clients feel immediately heard and respected.
Tell people what they can expect
Make sure you’re communicating with your clients about what they can expect at each stage of the legal process, as well as what could possibly happen and is likely to happen in the end. With each contact, telling them what you’re doing next, and when they’ll hear from you again. If the ball is in their court, be clear about this.
Tell clients how long your processes take, including how long it takes you to respond to emails and phone calls. Set realistic expectations from the beginning, and then you can meet them.
Touch base and follow up
Check in with your clients solely to see how they’re getting on. It’s so simple yet highly effective in terms of client impressions.
If your client is supposed to be following something up, and you haven’t heard from them in a long time, check in with them to remind them the next step is theirs.
Explain the process
Take time to make sure that your client understands their situation, the legal system, what will happen next and how your firm operates.
Ask them if they have questions and then make sure these are responded to in a way that your client understands & without the legal jargon.
These are all fairly simple ways to get back to the basics of customer service.
Now we have the basics we can look to the future.
2. Embrace technology
This is one of the easiest ways to improve all of your client interactions. Adopting a specialised legal service platform such as the Zaliet Service Portal means you can deliver a faster service as well as keeping track of each of your cases, and what contact needs to happen next.
You can also give clients the ability to view and manage their legal process, including touching base and clarifying problems.
Imagine having an online portal that allows your clients to self-manage and easily communicate with your firm. With online appointment booking, secure document collaboration, online payment options and online instruction forms, you can speed up service timeframes, creating a much better experience for your clients (and yourself!)
Combine this technology with a targeted digital marketing strategy, and it makes finding and engaging your firm easy. Clients can book an appointment, make an online payment and fill in a client intake form before you even meet with them. This last point alone is a win-win.
However, most clients have not experienced such useful tools in their dealings with law firms. Exceeding their expectations through such a great experience can build a strong referral based business, and be a major point of difference for your firm.
The Zaliet Service Portal is a simple tool that makes servicing clients easy.
Potential customers will most likely sway towards firms that are easy to deal with, who offer online services. Getting their problem solved as quickly as possible is their main concern – and online services means easier access and more flexible timeframes.
3. Explore Digital Marketing
It is so incredibly important for your law firm to have an online presence to grow your brand and source new clients.
In today’s global online world, customers are far more sophisticated in their searching techniques and also in how they review services. Eighty percent of consumers research online before they buy. And with a competitive legal market, good clients can afford to be picky.
When people search online for a lawyer they start by researching their problem.
They don’t necessarily know what kind of lawyer they need or what that lawyer’s strengths and skills should be. If we generalise here, most people searching for a lawyer have never been in this position before, are highly anxious & fearful and don’t know what to look for. If your marketing speaks to their problem, you will be the one they source.
This also means that you are engaging with the most appropriate clients for your business.
You market in such a way that targets the clients that you are the solution for and then connect with them.
You get information out there about your skills, knowledge, and expertise. You get information out there that builds potential clients’ trust in you even before their first physical contact.
Using a tailored digital marketing strategy, you can present your solution to their problem at the specific time they’re looking for help, increasing your rate of new enquiries & overall rapport with the client.
Connect with the right clients
To grow a successful law firm, you need the clients that are the right match for you, and you for them. You need clients that are willing to pay for your expertise and who will and pay their bills So where are they hiding? And how do you find them?
The answer is, you don’t. They find you.
Are you ready for your law firm to start making ambitious growth?
Contact Us today for a free strategy session about how we can help your law firm grow.
Kaylee Chirichiello is the founder and lead strategist of KMC Consulting Solutions. With 8 years of experience consulting to law firms, she uses leading digitial marketing strategies to help you reach your ideal clients.
Want to discuss your law firm’s digital marketing strategy? Book a free 30 min consultation today