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12 Quick Tips for Ensuring Client Satisfaction

As lawyers, we have a love/hate relationship with our clients. Without clients, we would have nothing to do, but some clients can be pretty difficult – demanding, unreasonable, needy, rude, annoying, untrustworthy, manipulative, complaining, bossy, etc. But we are a service industry, a very competitive service industry. And while you may feel comfortable that a client isn’t going anywhere (or can’t), he or she can have an impact on your livelihood. This is especially true given the power that Google has given to consumers. A bad review (and certainly more than one) can have a real impact on your business. Of course, our goal shouldn’t simply be to avoid bad reviews.

Our clients hold the key to unlocking a treasure trove of information that will help grow and secure new business, and we must be ready and willing to turn it. This means listening to them, thinking about things from their perspective, asking them questions, focusing on their needs and interests, not making assumptions about them, and being willing to make changes.

Let’s face it, poor customer service has become the norm. This lowers our expectations. But does it make us happy? Take Chick-fil-a for example.

While their chicken is pretty good, is it much better than the other fast-food franchises? Yet, drive by any Chick-fil-a restaurant anytime near lunch and they will have ten times the customers that the neighboring fast-food franchises do. Their customer service is more than friendly as they make quips while taking your order or delivering your fried goodness. They think about their customers’ experiences. A long line develops at the drive-through (a product of their success). Friendly sales associates are outside walking the line taking our orders so our wait isn’t long. They’ve built covers over parts of their drive-through lines so that our exchanges with these remote agents can be accomplished in all types of weather.

What if we were to devote just a little more effort to ensuring our clients’ satisfaction? What does that look like? Here are 12 quick tips for ensuring client satisfaction.

1. Return your clients’ calls promptly.

2. Keep clients updated on the status of their cases.

3. Give clients honest assessments about their case rather than what they want to hear.

4. Clearly explain your fees to clients.

5. Help clients avoid surprises by setting realistic expectations.

6. Make sure you understand what your clients want.

7. Make sure your clients understand the limitations of what you can do.

8. Be honest about how long something will take.

9. Adhere to deadlines.

10. Promptly address misunderstandings with clients.

11. Promptly fix any problems that arise.

12. Treat clients with respect.

Client satisfaction will pay big dividends well beyond avoiding bad online reviews. A happy client is a potential fountain of new business. Listening to them will help us improve the quality of our services, not just for them but for all our clients. And that will separate us from our competitors.


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