Lifecycle of a Claim: Client Management

This is the third installment of our series about the lifecycle of personal injury claims, in which we focus on what you can do to get more clients while providing them the best service possible.

Client relationships are the lifeblood of every law firm. Most of a lawyer’s relationships with his or her clients revolve around the legal representation they provide. But so many other factors dictate the quality of service a client receives.

In other words, you can have a keen understanding of the law and get big results in the cases you handle but still have poor customer service. You don’t want to be the legal equivalent of a doctor with bad bedside manner.

If your law firm lacks communication skills and poorly manages client relationships, you might never be able to position your firm for long-term growth.

This crucial aspect of building fruitful relationships with clients is what we’re focusing on below. Let’s discuss the key aspects of successful client management for law firms.

Proactive Communication

Nothing frustrates a client more than having to constantly reach out to their lawyer for updates on their case. The best way for an attorney to combat this far-too-common sticking point is to be proactive with client interactions.

Whenever your firm has an update about a case, the client should be notified as quickly as possible. If a client communicates to you that they prefer less correspondence from your firm, then and only then should you pump the brakes on case updates.

Your firm can even take things a step further and schedule reminders to your team to follow up with clients at regular intervals when there are no actual updates to provide. Even if a client would prefer to hear that their case is moving forward, knowing that there are no updates to report can alleviate some of the uncertainty they’re facing as they wait for their case to resolve.

Another crucial way your team can be proactive is to send clients reminders about court dates, depositions, appointments, or other important events they need to attend or be aware of. Some practice management systems (like backdocket) let you set up automated reminders to clients so your team won’t get bogged down sending reminders.

Prioritizing Responsiveness

Being proactive will eliminate the need to respond to endless client calls and requests, but it won’t eliminate them entirely. In some instances, you’ll still have a client that wants more correspondence than you’re providing. In other cases, a client might have their own update regarding their condition, medical treatment, or other developments regarding their case.

Being responsive to a client’s calls or emails is essential if you want to build great client relationships. Ideally, your team will respond to clients on the same day that they reach out to you. At the very least, create a policy that says your team should never wait longer than 24 hours to respond to their messages.

Practice management software can be invaluable here, too. Whenever a client reaches out, a team member can enter in that request into your practice management system and create an alert for the attorney or case manager to respond.

Being Prepared for Client Interactions

Whenever you speak to a client, you should be able to pick up exactly where you left off. This doesn’t just apply to the conversations you were having about the case itself. It also applies to any personal conversations that you had with your client.

For example, if your client mentioned in a previous call that their spouse was about to undergo major surgery, you should ask how their spouse is doing the next time you speak to them. These types of interactions let clients know that you’re thinking about them and that you care about more than just the legal issue they’re facing.

For attorneys and other law firm team members, it can be difficult to remember exactly what you spoke with clients about in your most recent interactions. That’s why relying on your memory alone isn’t enough.

Either you or another team member on the client call should take notes about what’s discussed, so you can read through those notes before your next call or meeting. At backdocket, we make this easy for law firms. Through our software, firms can take detailed notes about a client, which are easily available to all team members to review prior to a meeting or call.

Make Client Management Part of Your Firm’s Culture

Everyone at your firm, especially those who are in a client-facing role, should understand how important it is to build great relationships with clients. One way to make this part of your firm’s culture is to have regular meetings to discuss ideas for assessing and improving client relationships.

In practice, this might look like quarterly meetings to consider things like Christmas cards to send to clients or which clients might need more correspondence from your firm. The meetings might yield great ways to improve relationships, but they’ll also serve as a reminder to all your fellow team members that client satisfaction is an ongoing process and should be a priority for your law firm.

Improve Client Relationships With backdocket

At backdocket, we’re focused on helping small- to mid-size law firms find success. One of the most common types of feedback we get from our law firms is how dramatically their client relationships improve because of our practice management software.

Through backdocket, you can centralize notes about your clients, set up automated correspondence for appointment reminders, and always be on top of a case’s status.

If you want to grow your firm, backdocket can help. Contact our team today to schedule a free demonstration.

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