Of course, law firms are intrinsically different from hair salons, restaurants and banks. No one wants to hire a lawyer. Divorce, financial struggles, criminal charges, personal injury, or the loss of a loved one can leave a client scared, shaken and emotionally distraught. Hiring a lawyer is a necessity, not a choice. How do you turn a troubled time into a positive experience?
Client experience is about more than winning the case. A client may tell a friend, "Yes, I got a good settlement, but I felt like I was just a number." How do you get the client to rave about your customer service?
Here are six easy ways to create a positive client experience.
Recognize your client. Greet your client by name and have your staff do the same. Instead of asking clients to sign in and have a seat, have your receptionist make eye contact and greet the client with a "Good morning, Mr. Brown." This immediately makes coming to your office a more personal experience.
Make it personal. Listen to your client and make notes about anything that will help you remember the details of her case and her life. For example, if your client mentions her grandchildren, write down their names and ask about them at the next visit. She will be flattered that you remembered.
Be polite. Do you greet clients in a friendly way? Do you or a staff member walk clients to the door after an appointment and open it as they leave? A bit of general courtesy goes a long way.
Be considerate. Think of your client's needs. If you have many elderly clients, make sure the seats in your waiting room are easy to get in and out of. If you work with families, consider having a small table in your lobby with coloring pages and crayons for kids. Another nice touch is to offer clients a cup of coffee or tea while they wait. Also, don't leave clients waiting too long.
Show appreciation. Everyone wants to feel appreciated. Little touches like calling with updates, sending a Christmas card, or adding a quick, hand-written note to your newsletter make a big difference.
Create a peaceful environment. Your client probably feels that his life is falling apart. Being in a quiet environment with no pressure can give someone under stress the breathing room they crave. Try to avoid clutter and distractions in your office and waiting area.
These small touches won't solve your client's problem, but they will make their lives a little more pleasant during a difficult time. When a friend needs a lawyer, your client will be able to wholeheartedly recommend your firm. What better compliment can there be?
Learn more about effective legal marketing strategies from Ben Glass and Great Legal Marketing; contact us at 703-591-9829.