Years ago, client interaction took place face to face; but in today’s digital age, you’re more likely to only see your client during the initial consult and at infrequent follow-up meetings. Instead, communication takes place through email and over the phone, making it more difficult to cultivate a strong client relationship. But there are easy ways to create a more personal connection and, in turn, a loyal client base.
1. Check in
Don’t wait for your client to get in touch with you. Reach out even when you aren’t involved in a legal action with them. Ask how they’re settling into a new office space or if a conference they recently attended was helpful. Noticing these details and being proactive makes clients feel like you value your relationship with them.
2. Go above and beyond
Spending a few minutes to do more than what is required can make all the difference. Do you have a client who mentioned a water leak on the phone and happen to know a fantastic plumber? Send over their contact information. Send handwritten thank-you notes or take a few minutes to acknowledge your gratitude to them for choosing you as their lawyer.
3. Spell out your value
You’ve done great work, produced above-average results, and went above and beyond without charging for it. If you don’t bring it to the attention of your client, don’t be surprised if they don’t notice. After all, they’re probably not familiar with the legal industry. Be tactful in your approach, but make sure they’re aware of the level of service you’ve provided to them.
4. Ask the right questions
Inquire beyond the typical legal questions and jump into finding out what will provide the most meaningful impact by asking questions like, “What are your biggest problems?” and “What are your goals?” Clients will remember lawyers who made their lives easier by solving their issues or helping them achieve their objectives.
5. Give your full attention
As a lawyer, you’re always being pulled in ten different directions by your to-do list. It can be difficult but whether your client is in front of you or on the phone, be sure to focus on them entirely. Do your best to avoid answering emails or taking calls. Five minutes of complete attention can be more meaningful than a half hour of constant interruptions and distracted conversation.
6. Know their communication preferences
Do they like to communicate by text or email? Do they prefer to talk early in the morning or on their lunch break? Learn their preferences and then be sure to communicate often.
7. Know them as a person, not as a case
Take note of details about their personal lives, such as kids or their hobbies, and work them into the conversation when possible. While the legal industry tends to be more conservative than most, sharing personal details about your life in return can help strengthen the connection between you and your client.
Creating The Bond
Successful, positive client relationships lead to more referrals and higher profits and also helps prevent any negative reviews. Taking a few moments to foster a rapport can build connections that last an entire career. The ultimate effect of your additional efforts will be a better experience for all involved and a well-founded client base.