Client experience is a relatively new buzzword in business, but law firms should be paying attention to the changing climate of customer relationships and adapting to the new, elevated standards of the client experience.
As a law firm, your end goal is to solve a particular legal issue. But taking time to understand and enhance the client experience can help garner trust and boost client retention. Building trust with clients helps them build a solid relationship with you and your law firm, allowing you to get the information you need while leaving them satisfied and more likely to refer to your services.
An exceptional end-to-end customer experience increases long-term loyalty, eventually impacting revenue growth. That is why law firms that want to be successful need to take a hard look at their client experience. Here are five ways to do that while adding value.
Follow the client journey
A client’s first impression with your law firm begins well before they step foot in your office. Their experience with your firm begins with their first interaction with you or your marketing, and lasts until you close their case, or later. Client experience is the customer journey from start to finish, and a consistent client journey matters. According to Bain & Company, law firms that excel in great customer experience grow their revenues 4%-8% above their market.
To help improve the client journey, start with the touch points a client has with your law firm. Ask yourself the following questions to assess the consistency of your client journey:
- Marketing efforts: How did the client become familiar with your law firm? For example; digital marketing, meeting an employee at an event, an advertisement, or an article online are some common referrals for law firms. Your marketing efforts should be consistent across all platforms and in alignment with your firm’s brand and values.
- First experience: What’s it like for a client to interact with your firm for the first time? On initial contact, do they speak with a lawyer or someone else? Is your website easy to navigate? Is your website mobile-friendly? Look at your firm from a customer’s point of view. As a potential client, would you be satisfied with your experience?
- Engagement: What is your communication like during the case? Do you keep in contact after the case is resolved?
Use technology to your advantage
Technology is ever-changing, and if you aren’t staying up-to-date with it, your firm is going to get left behind. From artificial intelligence to automated systems, technology can help your law firm improve customer experience.
Use client intake forms
Client intake forms are a strategic way to start the customer journey, and they provide valuable information you need. Not only does a client intake form collect client contact details, but it also helps you quickly assess where the case falls within your firm’s practice areas. A well-crafted form helps streamline the intake process, establish a trusting relationship and the opportunity to personalize the client experience.
Use a customer management system
At a basic level, a Customer Management System is a tool to help firms manage interactions with potential clients. But an efficient CRM is much more than that. An effective CRM can help drive efficiency, attract more prospects, increase client engagement and accelerate your firm’s growth. A CRM system automates client follow-ups, email workflows, scheduling, legal documents and more. For example, using a CRM system, once a new client lead is generated online, it’s housed in one central location for efficient follow-up, scheduling, and paperwork, eliminating the need for manual information input. A CRM system can also provide lead tracking, giving you access to the current status of every prospect, from initial interest to signatures and resolution.
Use a client portal or file-sharing solutions
In the legal industry, there is no shortage of paper documents. And there is a time and a place for hard-copy paper documents. However, managing documents can add to your client’s stress. Consider going paperless. Make sharing documents easy for your clients by utilizing a client portal or file-sharing solution. With a client portal or document-sharing solution, you can send and receive documents and signatures from clients quickly and efficiently.
Your clients want updates, and regular communication goes a long way in retaining clients. Beat your clients to the punch and proactively reach out to them with status updates, or any hiccups with their case. Frequent and clear communication is critical to managing relationships and expectations.
Many cases are long and stressful for your clients. Often, it can be overwhelming, daunting, and a source of confusion for them. This can lead to an influx of calls and emails to your staff, seeking clarification or updates on their case. Enhance client communication with less work by utilizing Scorpion’s automated client-updating software, which directly connects with your case-management software.
As you and your staff make updates, your client is automatically updated and kept in the loop. Keep in mind that automation shouldn’t mean impersonal. Many automated systems allow firms to customize automated messages with information collected during the intake process, allowing firms the opportunity to make every client feel like a person.
Make sure you’re taking the time to talk with your client and understand what they’re looking for; how do they prefer to communicate? Do they prefer text, email, or phone calls? Have prospective clients fill out intake forms.
Go the extra mile and make note of significant life changes like the birth of a child or a career change. Send notes of congratulations or condolences when necessary. Remembering significant events in your client’s lives indicate they are more than just a case to your law firm.
Once a case is resolved, the relationship should continue. Small interactions signal your care and attention to detail and make lasting impressions on clients.
Feedback allows your law firm to hear directly from your client what you’re doing well and where you can improve. Whether you employ a standardized system for capturing feedback, or simply request feedback in your post-case wrap-up, client feedback can be one of the most valuable tools to a law firm.
The Bottom Line
Yes, your clients come to you for the resolution of a legal issue. But they also come to you for much more: reassurance, emotional support during a likely difficult time, counsel, and more. Their experience with you is more than how you manage and resolve their case. Law firms that take time to understand and enhance the client experience are more likely to retain their current client base and attract new clients.
Let Scorpion help. Contact us today to learn how we can help you and your law firm.