To operate a legal practice successfully you need more than legal expertise to satisfy your clients. Whether you are a personal injury lawyer or deal with business law, you need to adopt a customer-centric approach to achieve client satisfaction and loyalty. Only then will your legal practice thrive and grow.
Here are twelve ways your personal injury legal practice can stand out as excellent.
Keep Clients Informed
One of the biggest complaints is that clients don’t feel like their lawyers keep them informed. Establish expectations by advising clients during your initial consultation how often they can expect to receive updates. Follow the policy through by keeping clients up to date by email, phone calls, SMS or messaging software.
Provide Swift Service
Don’t underestimate the importance clients put on expeditious service. Many clients are upset or are in pain after a road accident. The longer it takes you to handle their case, the longer they suffer. You may not be obligated to perform quickly, but the emotional benefit to your clients of completing their claims in a timely manner is immense.
Ensure Staff Know Your Policies
As a qualified lawyer you are performing at a professional level. Make sure your employees don’t let you down when dealing with your clients. Train your team to provide the correct information, hold regular training days, and update your team on changes in policy and regulations. The last thing you want is an unpleasant surprise down the road or receive a claim for malpractice, especially when it wasn’t your fault.
Provide 24/7 Answering
Accidents don’t just happen during office hours. Customers may need legal representation for personal injuries at any time of the day and night. If you are a small legal practice you may want to consider outsourcing your out-of-hours support to a professional legal answering service. This will allow you to compete with the larger law firms who offer around-the-clock legal advice and assistance.
As discussed earlier, clients expect things to happen quickly. The last thing they want is to have to wait around for the delivery of letters and documents that require their signature. These days, many administrative tasks can be done online. Automate the document signing process by allowing clients to use e-signing. By implementing e-signing in your business you will not only provide a faster service for your clients, but you will also be demonstrating your green credentials by doing your bit for the environment.
People who are involved in a car accident have suffered a traumatic event. The claim process can seem daunting, so it’s essential that you and your team are empathic throughout the claim. If you conclude that your client has a serious claim for car accident compensation, you can offer a No Win No Fee Personal Injury Claim. Nobody should be excluded from making a personal injury claim if they have the right to do so. After a car accident, people may feel mentally pressured and experience financial barriers to make a claim. It is your job to show empathy and understanding and help your client deal with what could be a life changing event.
Remember Traditional Service
Despite the rapid onset of technology in customer service today, it is important not to forget the basics of customer engagement that all clients deeply appreciate. Courtesy and professionalism are always welcomed, whether you are communicating with your clients in person, by phone, or online. Listening to client’s problems and applying the best solutions is what customer care is all about, no matter by what means it is provided.
Listen to Your Clients
One of the easiest ways to find out if your clients are happy with the level of service you provide is to simply ask them. This can be done informally, by inquiring when they come to your office or you can conduct follow-up phone calls or emails to ask customers about the quality of their last interaction with your business. Another way is to make the process more formal by creating surveys that ask questions about different aspects of your service and ask clients to fill them out and return them to you online or by email or snail-mail.
These days customers expect to be able to contact companies in whatever way they choose. Some clients prefer to meet their lawyer face-to-face while others prefer a phone call or email. The use of social media in legal services is also on the rise. For example, clients are using LinkedIn and Twitter to find out about legal services and law firms are responding accordingly by opening social media accounts.
Dealing with upset or angry clients is one of the most difficult aspects of being a personal injury lawyer, which is why you must take care in this area. When someone displays anger, the natural response is to get angry back. However, this reaction will only serve to escalate an already charged situation. Instead of mirroring a customer’s angry gesture, tone or facial expression, try to keep your voice and body language calm and professional to let your client know you are ready and willing to help.
Consider Your Environment
Customers do not enjoy visiting law firms piled with paperwork or looking like they haven’t had a good tidy up and polish in some time. In addition to concerns about efficiency in a disorganized office, many clients will simply not feel at ease in the midst of your mess. Take a look at your environment from the client’s perspective to see what their first impression of your business might be. Next, clean out the clutter and add a few welcoming touches like a pot of coffee, a vase of fresh flowers, or comfortable chairs in your lobby area.
Link Customer Service to Your Bottom Line
Finally, make sure everyone in your legal practice understands the importance of high quality customer care by linking service to your bottom line. In most cases, happy customers are the ones that will be more likely to return to your law firm, purchase more services, and tell their friends and family about you.