I am personally surprised everytime I read a report or client survey. I always find myself thinking “We needed someone to tell us that?” Apparently we do.
Most legal professionals are polite and knowledgeable but do not attempt to build rapport with their clients.
This will no doubt vary considerably depending on the type of firm and the practice area in question, but it is still somewhat surprising feedback. It is also an easy win.
It may be a case of clients want it all and we simply can’t give it our all, all the time, but there are lots of little things that everyone can do to help them stand-out to their own clients.
- Personalise – Personalise your emails, your advice and other communications while remaining professional.
- Be enthusiastic – answer the phone with enthusiasm and energy and display positive body language and be enthusiastic when you meet your client face to face.
- Show your client that they are important to you by returning their calls or sending them a quick acknowledgement email when you are too busy to respond in full.
- Demonstrate the right knowledge and give them solutions – this one gets easier with experience, but rather than displaying how much you know about a particular topic, demonstrate the right knowledge by giving them the advice they need or the solution they are looking for. Balance this will advising your client fully and comprehensively.
- Be efficient – clients value efficiency, this should be balanced with managing their expectations.
- Sell yourself – most lawyers hate selling and are not natural sales people. However, you should make an effort to change your perception and put your best foot forward every time.
- Do your research – clients expect you to have an understanding of their perspective. Usually they are looking at everything differently so consider why they are coming to you and what their world view is. This might mean that you change your tone or body language with an individual client. It might mean doing some sector/industry research if dealing with a commercial or business client/matter. Your clients and customers will be doing their own research, they will expect you to do the same and this can make a difference.
- Be authentic – clients consider the whole package, so being personal and authentic can make a difference to their customer experience.
Don’t forget customers and clients have a choice. They can choose who they want to instruct and interact with. They can easily go somewhere else therefore it is important that you sell your brand and build up personal professional relationships with your clients.