Providing good service is often the fastest, least expensive way to make more revenues for your firm. Start by satisfying your clients before they even walk in the door, such as returning phone calls quickly, and really listening to their concerns. Often, lawyers are so busy they may miss huge opportunities (and referrals) without even knowing about them by not returning calls.
Another way to provide good service is to empower your staff to make decisions and reward them for good choices. This is often hard for lawyers or other professionals, who often have difficulty delegating tasks and incorrectly believe they are the only ones capable of making business decisions. But empowerment won’t bring down the business; it actually boosts job satisfaction, keeps turnover low and breeds loyalty. All of which equates to better client service, more revenues and more time for you to develop business and build on your competitive advantage.
What happens if you’ve really, really ruffled some feathers? It happens. Most attorneys just ignore problems, letting voicemail or worse, their assistants handle the brunt of client complaints. Instead, let your clients vent, directly to you. Even encourage them to do it. Imagine you are the one with the concern, and treat them how you’d expect to be treated. This could turn an ugly complaint (which, gasp, could even be posted online as a negative review!) into an opportunity to really hear someone out, and improve your service.
An interesting way to provide great client service is to show, don’t tell. Consider making social responsibility part of your client messaging. Many clients like to see and know what causes are important to you. So, consider posting information about your involvement on your website, and including it in client literature. Even better, involve your clients too. For example, if you’re collecting or donating food to a local homeless shelter, consider putting a box in your office, and ask your clients to contribute. Client loyalty increases when they see involvement with a good cause.
Great client service doesn’t happen by pushing a button. Review your current office policies, and consider implementing the above suggestions. I’m confident they will make an impact.
The Easy Button can be found at Staples.