When fighting legal battles is your nine-to-five job, perpetually maintaining an empathetic mindset can be difficult. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; after all, if a lawyer tried to be emotionally invested in every case she fought, she would likely find herself emotionally burned out within a few months. However, those of us in the legal field can never forget that while a client’s court battle may be just another case to us, winning it may mean the world to a client. Good lawyers are able to find a balance between the two emotional extremes, and maintain compassion for their client without compromising themselves emotionally. Client service is a vital part of a lawyer’s job – and yet, statistics show that a staggering 90% of clients who call a law firm won’t reach an actual lawyer. Most in the legal profession can’t afford to alienate clients to the point of defecting to another firm, and so need to revampt client service policies. Below, I’ve listed a few tips for those looking to boost their client satisfaction rates.
Train Your Staff to be Client-Facing
Stress, anger, sadness – legal battles bring out the worst in people. Anyone who mans the phones at a law firm needs to have patience and compassion in spades. As the first point of contact for most clients, legal secretaries need to not only sound friendly, but also understand how to present a client’s options in a way that comforts, rather than creates stress. Lawyers should train their staff members to see the firm as being client-focused, with the ultimate goal of solving client problems compassionately rather than pushing them through the door as quickly as possible.
You may have spent years with your head buried in a law textbook, but odds are good that your client hasn’t! Avoid using obfuscating legal jargon during calls and consultations, and keep your language as clear as possible. Positive lawyer-client relationships hinge on friendly and mutually clear communication; as such, lawyers should always take the time to ensure that they and their client are on the same page.
Busy or not, lawyers can’t afford to let client calls go unreturned. Keep your clients in the loop to avoid hostility and frustration down the line! Set aside time each day to return client calls and address messages.
Be an Active Listener
Never assume that you know what the client is feeling. Be an active listener by paying attention to client cues and responding to client concerns with emotional intelligence and empathy! A client’s case may mean little to you personally, but case outcomes often have significant repercussions for the client. If you notice the client struggling, sit down and have a chat. Showing the client that you care about their emotional well-being will help establish a positive working relationship down the line.