How to Run a Law Firm, Part II: Nailing Your Customer Service

How to Consistently Deliver an Excellent Customer Experience

Your clients are experiencing a lot of uncertainty in their lives, and you’re their guide through an incredibly difficult period. The more certainty and stability you offer your clients, the better their experience will be.

To provide exceptional service, think beyond just the results you’re getting for them. Focus on the experience they have leading up to, during, and after their cases are complete.

Six Best Practices for Outstanding Customer Service

Let’s start with six ways you can show your clients they chose the right firm to handle their cases:

  • Don’t make clients wait. When clients start thinking of themselves as their own case managers, your firm is venturing into dangerous territory. Be proactive by giving clients frequent case updates, appointment reminders, and quick responses to questions.
  • Explain the process. Don’t assume clients know the steps required to handle their cases. Explain things thoroughly from the start and continue to do so throughout the process.
  • Inform your clients on developments. Anytime a milestone is reached, or a roadblock impedes progress, tell your clients. If you and your team have a meeting about a client, give them a briefing.
  • Responsiveness and accessibility are key. Your clients’ questions are always important, so create an office policy to respond to all questions within 24 hours, if not sooner. Make sure your clients know they can reach you anytime.
  • Send reminders to your clients. If there are important dates your clients should know about, whether it’s meetings with your team or court dates, remind them so they can prepare.
  • Go to your clients. Whether it’s for a free consultation, deposition preparation, or simply a check-in, visit your clients instead of asking them to come to your office.

These are the building blocks of great client service, but we need to dig deeper to show clients how competent your firm really is.

Know the Status of Every Case

You never want to be unsure about a case’s status, especially when a client calls for updates. Your first priority is reaching out to a client before they feel the need to contact you. If they do contact you, the last thing you want to tell them is that you “don’t know” or “need to check” on the status of their case.

Case information should be frequently updated and available to many of your team members. By keeping this information current and accessible, you’ll know that whenever someone at your firm speaks to a client, they’ll be able to tell them exactly what’s happening in their case.

Know and Care About Your Clients

This doesn’t mean feigning interest in your clients. They should feel that you genuinely care about them. You already care about how your services will improve your clients’ lives, and you shouldn’t consider your clients’ personal lives off-limits. Aside from clients that don’t want to discuss anything personal, most appreciate someone taking a real interest in their lives outside of their case.

In addition to making your clients happy, there’s an added benefit to really caring about them: the more three-dimensional you see your clients, the better work you’ll do for them.

Take Feedback Seriously

If you want your firm to improve its services exponentially, you need feedback, and the responses you receive should prompt action. You should frequently be asking your clients for their feedback. When you receive criticism in reviews, don’t ask yourself if the criticism is true, but rather how that criticism is true and what you might do to address it.

Make it a practice to regularly ask your clients to leave reviews of your firm. Though online reviews are good for your visibility, they also give you invaluable insights into how clients experienced your firm. Use those insights to look for weak points in your service, so you can find key areas to improve upon.

Look Beyond Law Firms for Inspiration

It’s tempting for firms to look at their competitors for inspiration. After all, they’re vying for the same clients you are. However, remember that great ideas can be found in any industry.

Consider the experiences you have at some of your favorite businesses. Do you have a favorite restaurant or coffee shop that goes above and beyond to keep patrons happy? Does your dentist or eye doctor do small things that impress you?

Make notes whenever you have a loyalty-inspiring interaction with a business. Ask yourself if there’s any way you can replicate that experience at your firm.

When you’re thinking about customer service, don’t restrict yourself to the legal field. Look for advantages by incorporating ideas from all industries.

Let Technology Do the Work

Automation is one of the most powerful yet underutilized benefits of business technology. You can use automated processes to perform several tasks, including:

  • Reminding clients of important appointments, meetings, court dates, and deadlines  
  • Sending follow-up surveys to clients after meetings
  • Prompting clients for feedback once you’ve completed their cases
  • Reminding you and your staff to follow up on a records request

Automating these tasks frees you up for other important work and offers your clients guidance throughout their experience with your firm.

Once You’ve Identified Strategies, Implement a System

The many tips above provide actionable advice that you can use to improve your customer service starting today. You might have a list of your own ideas that you’re eager to implement, too. Now that you know what you can do to improve your clients’ experiences at your firm, sit down with your team and map out a client experience plan.

Look at the entire process, from onboarding new clients to staying in touch with former ones. Identify what your firm should do to make your plan a reality, then begin implementing it immediately.

Start simple and build from there. As your team becomes more familiar with the system, you can adjust and refine it for optimal results.

Pro tips:

  • Instead of focusing solely on the goal of having happier clients, focus on the system you use to accomplish that goal.
  • Give your system three to six months to take root, then reassess your client satisfaction by looking at feedback and reviews.

How backdocket Helps Firms Improve Client Satisfaction

The creators of backdocket noticed the same obstacles repeatedly facing small- to mid-size firms. Disorganization, miscommunication, and overly complicated software made their jobs harder.

These law firms needed a practical, flexible, intuitive practice management software to help with all aspects of their practice—and there simply wasn’t a tool that helped them meet their goals. Backdocket was designed to be that tool.

Law firms using backdocket are quick to tell us how much happier their clients are since the firms started using our software. Backdocket allows team members to always be moving cases forward. It reminds them when it’s time to reach out to a client. It centralizes information for easy access, so your team can more easily convey to clients all the work you’re doing for them.

We’d love to show you how backdocket works, so you can see the benefits for yourself. Contact our team today for a free demonstration.

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