How To Create A Client Focused Law Firm Culture
January 4, 2019
At Adams and Fisk, PLC, we are focused on meeting the needs of our clients. This article at Above the Law touches on some of the features we routinely apply when working with our clients to achieve their objectives.
By JANE OXLEY
Creating a client focused law firm culture can help you stand out in an industry that’s filled with competent and experienced attorneys. But it will also keep clients returning to you for legal assistance for years into the future. We talk to a lot of Smokeball clients and find that most small law firms want to help their clients as that is their primary growing revenue stream. Here are some best practices for creating a client focused law firm culture you can be proud of.
Empowering your clients is one of the most important things you can do. Many clients come to the table with very little experience with tackling legal issues. If you can help them understand their legal troubles in a way that’s unintimidating, they will gain confidence in their ability to competently handle their issues.
- Simplify legal issues. As part of your process, you should simplify legal issues so that an ordinary client can understand their problem and the law surrounding that problem. Using something as simple as an FAQ cheat sheet for your most common cases can help streamline this process and deliver a huge ROI.
- Explain legal process. By the time you begin a case with a client, you should be prepared to help them understand the typical legal process. For example, if you’re a bankruptcy attorney your consumer debt clients should understand every step they need to go through to get their bankruptcy discharge. This knowledge empowers the client by helping them understand how their bankruptcy case actually works, the deadlines they face, and the possible challenges that may be ahead of them.
- Explain attorney process. Every attorney should have a fairly standard (and amendable) process that they can distribute to new clients. Your fees, office hours, expectations, and responsibilities to the client should be clearly spelled out in writing. Clients who understand their attorney’s process are less anxious and less likely to waste the attorney’s time with excessive communication.
The best client focused law firms understand that attorney soft skills are just as important as their ability to argue and win cases. That’s why training attorneys on how to interact with clients from intake to the closing of a case is critical to cultivating a client focused law firm.
- Empathetic communication. When you’re juggling several important cases at once it can be difficult to truly listen to clients, especially if they’re irate or worried. Attorneys who can remain empathetic are more likely to tap into the root issue, solve the problem, and put an anxious client’s mind at ease. And that’s the type of communication that is good for a law firm’s bottom-line.
- Relationship building. This isn’t just about building a book of business, it’s about building a connection between the client and attorney, and by extension the client and law firm. Attorneys who can build a rapport and authentic relationship with clients are more likely to receive repeat business and referrals.
- Collaboration. Competition is good but teamwork and collaboration is even better. Attorneys who can place the needs of the case, the client, and the law firm above their own ego to achieve the optimum outcome for the client are a goldmine. And law firms who can cultivate this collaborative instinct in their attorneys will reap the rewards in the long-term.
Creating a client focused law firm requires a commitment to empowering clients and cultivating a healthy focus on customers in lawyers.
Article Source: Above the Law