Excellent communication is expected, no matter the industry
For your client, a seamless service may be expected as a standard, yet it is one of the hardest expectations to meet and sustain for any bustling firm; particularly retaining a high level of communication.
One of the key ingredients to providing outstanding customer service is regular and on-demand communication between you and your clients - both client to lawyer and, more importantly, lawyer to client. After all, concise, clear and consistent communication is essential to providing the case transparency your clients deserve.
Achieving quality communication is hard work, especially when you have a large caseload of clients to keep in the loop. But it’s not impossible.
If a lack of communication is one of your firm’s top complaints from clients, then you’re not alone. By embracing technology, you can put a stop to poor levels of communication across the board; updating clients at the right time and passing over relevant information to employees in your absence.
Assess your firm’s methods of communication - identify the flaws, find the solution
Firms have come a long way, but there’s still some way to go.
Broadly speaking, there is a disconnect between lawyers and their clients. The LexisNexis Bellwether Report: The Age of the Client found that 80% of solicitors and barristers felt they were “good at keeping in touch”, whilst only 40% of clients agreed with this evaluation.
The biggest issue being a lack of progress updates and missing deadlines without notice.
You might think that the days of posting letters are gone, but it’s not archaic; firms are still following this means of communication. It is safe to say that a lawyer’s typical method of communication is email, face to face, telephone calls, SMS (texting), and messaging on free apps, like WhatsApp.
You must look at your own communications critically and assess where you’re struggling before considering how to move forward.
Great communication will boost client retention levels, leading to growth
There’s a correlation between the level of communication provided and the quality of the customer service, resulting in the success of client retention.
Inconsistent or poor communication can have a detrimental impact on a law firm, encouraging clients to go elsewhere for their future legal needs.
My use of ‘great communication’ doesn’t just single out a firm’s communication with clients, it’s internal communication across employees too. A breakdown of communication within a team will translate to a client - signalling disorganisation and inexperience; two qualities that your clients will not want to see in their legal representatives.
A good solution will make passing information onto employees in your absence easy; ensuring that whoever is working on your client’s case has all the information they need. The result? A happy client every step of the way.
It’s never too late to fix or improve your communications - help is at hand
By improving your communications you can elevate your client experience and the customer service you’re providing. To really see a positive change, it’s a movement for the entire firm to get behind.
The decision to acknowledge a firm’s communication standards and commit to improving it isn’t a conclusion that can be actioned by a single person. It may be a Managing Partner or Head of Department putting the idea forward, but it’s something that everyone within a firm needs to acknowledge and get behind to really make a difference.
Technology is key to enabling progression in your communications
Admittedly, technology is already being used by law firms (email, text message, WhatsApp etc…), however, are you using the right technology? Does it help you to be more productive? Are your clients satisfied with your communications? Are you happy with your level of communication?
83% of current and future consumers prefer to deal with law firms online. For this reason, investing in technology makes sense, especially tech that will help improve the communication between lawyers and clients, and even between legal professionals within a firm.
Technology itself will not fix poor communications
Technology will enable you to optimise your communication methods and efforts. This isn’t a case of technology replacing you as a legal professional, instead, it’s the means to make you more productive and proactive in managing cases, serving clients and keeping them up to date.
There are many great communication platforms out there, but choosing the right one to solve your issues and optimise performance levels is essential.
Embracing legal technology is one thing, but employing the right technology for the right reasons to really improve the communications and productivity of your firm is what differentiates forward-thinking firms.
The impact of a good lawyer communication platform, for the client
People’s use of day to day tech has increased and will continue to, which is why clients come to expect communications with their firm to be efficient, instant and regular. After all, that’s what they’re used to, thanks to technological development over the years.
When lawyer to client communication is going smoothly, there is a lot of pressure eased on both sides:
Clients are not worried or stressed about their case. They are up to date and they know exactly what is going on with their case/matter. They don’t need to waste time reaching out; calling and emailing you for updates.
You are no longer inundated with requests from multiple clients. You can be more productive with your day; working on cases rather than keeping up with your emails and phone calls.
In order to improve customer satisfaction in law firms, communications must be made a priority for lawyers; particularly keeping their clients in the loop on their case. A good service is not only expected for physical/online stores or within retail, it is expected by clients everywhere no matter the industry.
The impact of good comms for a law firm?
- Increased customer satisfaction
- Returning clients (improved retention)
- Increased trust
- Referrals (word of mouth)
- Improved reviews and testimonials
All of these elements will make the firm more attractive, and in the long run, increase the firm’s profits. After all, customer service is the key to growth.
Gain the tools to transform your communications
The Link App is the case management software created by lawyers for lawyers to improve their communications.
With many cases to manage and clients to update, it’s tremendously difficult to provide a consistently outstanding client experience. But with The Link App, you can boost your productivity, gain time, and remain in control of your client communications.
Some of the features that our platform offers includes instant messaging, document sharing, case notifications, secure storage, and more.
Find out more about how The Link App can progress your firm’s communications and benefit your clients by getting in touch with me:
Written by: Nadine Chucri, Customer Success Manager
Originally published 17 / Jan / 2020