On Friday I posted: Want Higher Profits Per Partner: Focus on Client Service.
Seems like a “no-brainer.” But,
- When was the last time you talked about client service at a firm meeting
- When was the last time you talked to your professional staff about client service.
- When was the last time your firm did any training on client service?
- When was the last time you talked to your clients about client service?
BTI Consulting Group surveys reveal that clients are not pleased with the service they receive from their law firms. In a report titled The Declining Client Satisfaction Antidote, BTI reported that 70% of clients will not recommend their law firm to others. According to the report, clients believe their law firms are:
- Not keeping up with changing client needs
- Doing a poor job of articulating and delivering value
- Poor communication between law firms and clients
That means any law firm or lawyer whose service is just slightly better will be unique. Just imagine what would happen to your business if clients gave your firm an A+ on client service?
Here are 10 easily implemented client service actions to improve service.
- Be more Responsive. Promptly respond to phone calls, email, and correspondence. Keep your client informed
- Be a team player. Figure out ways to help the in-house counsel or other client representative succeed.
- LISTEN to not only what is said, but how it is said and what is not said.
- Make personal visits. You will learn more things that will give you the business context of the legal matter. You might even bring home a new file.
- Bill with clarity, accuracy and based on value. Clients resent paying for inefficiency.
- Keep your team together. Clients do not like “breaking in” lawyers who do not know their business.
- Get feedback from clients on how you can improve your service and respond proactively, including preparing a client service policy.
- Make sure you understand the technology that is available to better serve your clients.
- Understand the clients’ industry, company and the needs of the individual client representatives.
- Seek to uncover potential client problems, opportunities and changes and develop solutions to handle them.
- Provide client service training your lawyers and staff and make client service an agenda item at every firm meeting.
- Read books on customer service from other industries. You might start with Joseph Michelli’s book about Ritz Carlton service titled: The New Gold Standard.
Help me. Have I missed anything that you would add?