Lawyers work hard to build their reputations. Knowledge, effective advocacy and hard work can earn the respect of colleagues. To have a good reputation with clients, however, you need outstanding customer service.
Good customer service is also the best way to generate new clients. Clients refer their friends and family to lawyers with whom they have had a complete positive experience. Obtaining a good outcome may still generate only a lukewarm referral or online review if the customer service was lacking.
The good news is the main driver of good customer service is effort. If you focus on providing a welcoming, client-focused experience, you’ll provide it. Still, it always helps to get a few reminders on what good customer service is now and then.
The most common complaint against lawyers is for failing to communicate. Clients often mistake silence for negligence, even when nothing is happening in their case. But regular communication is only the start of good customer service.
Of course, even if you do everything right, you might still get the occasional complaint. The client may be unhappy with the direction their case is going. They may just be difficult. Regardless, it is important to respond to complaints, not to brush them under the rug; it is part of providing good customer service.
If a client is unhappy, acknowledge the client’s points and feelings, and then reiterate what you are doing for them to address it. Don’t litigate the issue or get defensive.
Fortunately, if you provide good customer service from the start, you’ll get fewer complaints and negative online reviews, even if the case doesn’t turn out how the client wanted.