Put Yourself in Your Client’s Shoes
As lawyers, we tend to get wrapped up in what we are doing for our clients. The to-do lists, client demands, and filing deadlines are a never-ending treadmill that leaves little time for anything else. When we are swamped, one of the first things to get bumped on our list is marketing.
As a reminder, marketing is more than advertising. In fact, client satisfaction is an important part of marketing.
When was the last time you considered or reviewed your client’s overall experience with your firm?
A happy client can do wonders for generating new work, whether directly or from referrals, but client satisfaction is more than results. It includes the overall experience and each individual interaction. It includes billing, correspondence, status reports, and management of expectations. Every time your client has an interaction with you, your staff, your website, or your emails, it is an opportunity to impress or disappoint. While they are obviously still important, gone are the days when results were all that mattered. The legal marketplace is competitive, and a great experience makes a difference.
While a client’s experience is important, the experiences of potential clients also cannot be overlooked and are perhaps even more important.
These first impressions will determine whether potential clients are converted into paying clients. Sometimes lawyers and offices do an outstanding job delivering high-quality work and results for clients but fail to focus on potential clients. They are rightfully working toward success, but potential clients can often feel neglected. If a potential client feels you are too busy to offer attention now, then how will things be different if they employ you?
So how do you gain insight into the impressions and experiences of your clients and potential clients?
Ask them. Surveys are a great tool. So is simply asking them. Listen to what they say, especially if they volunteer feedback. This is not the time to be defensive. Hear them out. If something needs to be fixed or addressed, do it. You cannot assume that one person’s experience is an isolated situation. Assume it is the tip of the iceberg and then hope to be pleasantly surprised if it isn’t. Spend some time training your staff and younger lawyers (or bring in someone to do it). Lead by example. Give feedback. Everyone must be held accountable. Help everyone stay focused on satisfying and impressing clients and potential clients alike.