Many lawyers underestimate the importance of keeping in touch with clients off the clock. Being proactive in client communications and contact may be the key to client satisfaction -- and retention. Making your clients feel like a priority is one of the best ways to keep them around, and an off the clock visit, lunch, or call is a great way to accomplish that.
Your existing clients will be the source of most of your business, so check in, off the clock, regularly to make sure that your clients know they are valued and feel satisfied.
Not Just Retention, Expansion
Sure, you can take your client out to dinner or lunch. Everyone loves to be wined and dined. But that's not the only way to give some off the clock attention. A free visit to your client's office to discuss his or her business needs can also make a client feel appreciated and satisfied. If you can't make it in person, schedule a monthly call to review any potential legal issues.
Unlike the free consultation, visiting clients off the clock isn't about performing work you would otherwise charge for -- it's about keeping in close contact with important clients. Happily, these keeping-in-touch sessions can also be opportunities to identify and offer new services to your client. If a free lunch turns into a chance to audit the company for wage and hour compliance, for example, your time won't just have gone just to retention, but to expanding your representation as well.
Don't Overdo It
Some lawyers advise giving your home phone and cell number to all your clients. That certainly can create an impression that they matter and can get in touch with you at any time. For very important clients, regular late-night phone calls may be worth it. For others, perhaps clearer boundaries are needed. Too much off the clock client contact and you soon may be regretting not pressing your thumb down a little harder on the "life" side of the work-life scale.
Make sure you stay in control of your off the clock hours. Use them to check in with clients as needed, but be cautious about turning your whole life over to wining and dining, lest you find yourself burning out before you can cash in on all that client goodwill.