As lawyers we frequently use the word credibility. But, what do our clients think it means?

I recently found an excerpt from the book Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3,000: Running a Business in Today’s Consumer-Driven World by Pete Blackshaw. In the first chapter Blackshaw states:

Credibility in today’s marketing environment is the product of six core drivers. Most of them are interrelated, but they require different strategies and tactics to fully realize. These critical credibility drivers are:

  1. TrustSatisfied Customers.jpg
  2. Authenticity
  3. Transparency
  4. Listening
  5. Responsiveness
  6. Affirmation

Aren’t these the drivers that clients are looking for when they hire lawyers?

Clients want to trust you. They want to trust that you can handle their legal matter and that you will be candid with them. You earn trust as a lawyer over many transactions or cases and you can lose it very quickly.

You are authentic as a lawyer when you act consistently with the commitments you make make and you demonstrate repeatedly that you put your clients interest first.

You demonstrate transparency by being open with your clients.

To be a good listener you must begin by asking good questions. Then listen for not only what your client is telling you, but also what it means to your client.

You are responsive when you meet or exceed your client’s expectations of responsiveness. It begins by timely returning telephone calls and emails.

Affirmation is conveying your understanding of how your client feels about a particular situation. It is also letting your clients know that you appreciate the opportunity to serve them.