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Sometimes lawyers forget that we are in the customer service business.
That's right, we are are in the same industry as the waiter, maitre d', and valet. Smiles for miles. The customer is always right. Tips are appreciated.
I'll never forget the client who gave me that first tip -- a $50 bill. Then there was the collectible artwork; the expensive watch; the silver bars -- all tips from appreciative clients.
We're not talking about making a living off of tips, here. We're talking about making a living off of good customer service. Here are some tips:
Review Customer Touchpoints
A customer touchpoint is that point where a client and law firm have contact. It includes:
At each point, the customer is interacting with the law firm. It is important to make sure clients have the best possible experience at every touchpoint to keep them coming back.
Sure, sometimes you will lose a case, but you don't have to lose the client.
Keep Clients Informed
The number one bar complaint is that clients feel like their attorneys do not keep them informed. Whether it's by a phone call, text message, email, courier pigeon -- you have to provide timely and regular feedback.
Let me take that back -- the part about feedback, not the courier pigeon. There is feedback and then there is -- for lack of a more interesting word combination -- "chicken feed."
"Chicken feed" means low value crumbs. Clients deserve more than that. Also, don't use legal jargon that clients won't understand when giving them feedback. Use plain English, or Spanish or whatever.
Ninety Percent Service, Ten Percent Practice
Clients generally don't know the quality of your legal skills; they more often rely on your reputation and your results.
However, they do know whether you are mindful of the legal concerns. They remember if you return phone calls and email. They especially note if you deliver on promises.
According to many lawyers, ninety percent of a successful law practice is based on good customer service. Less successful firms, not so much.
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