In today’s competitive legal market, clients want a law firm that does more than simply handle their legal matters. An exceptional legal service has become an essential commitment. However, ten percent of clients maintain that their firms do not meet these expectations. Therefore, the legal service is far from satisfactory Law Notes. This data comes from the Thomson Reuters Business Client Experience survey , and the message is clear: clients are looking for lawyers who will engage with their businesses and act with urgency in addressing their issues before they become real problems.
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Here are five tips to help you become an essential lawyer for your clients:
Know your client’s industry inside and out.
Learn about the trends and problems that happen in this industry. Numerous solutions can help you keep track. Having historical data and understanding cases involving key business players can give you an idea of the kind of problems that may arise. It goes without saying that managing the legislation applicable to the core business is key. Understanding related laws and industry trends can improve your position to succeed in legal matters and win new business.
Master the practice areas that are important to your client.
As you learn about your client’s industry and the laws that could affect their business, identify areas where you may not have the necessary level of experience. So, take the time to get up to speed so you never find yourself in a position where you have to turn down business or refer it to a colleague. Not only will this help you better understand your client’s industry, but it will also make you much more skilled at identifying potential problems. Furthermore, it will allow you to personalize your legal service and position yourself as a true business partner.
Connect with your client regularly.
In-person meetings can be difficult to schedule. However, a simple email or phone call can become the regular contact your customer needs to build trust and loyalty. Regular contact with your clients improves communication and will open the doors to conversations that normally do not occur. Studies on the legal industry show that clients appreciate and prefer regular communication. Forty-four percent of clients are dissatisfied with the responsiveness of their law firms. In this context, regular communication will not only allow you to keep your client updated, but it will also allow them to keep you informed about their concerns and needs, which will directly lead to more business.
Review previous issues and results.
Follow up on the issues you handled with your client. Go back and review the problems that arose and how you resolved them. This way, when a similar scenario arises, you will know how your client responds to your actions, which will also help you design a better legal strategy on a new matter. You can achieve this by asking your clients how satisfied they are with your legal service. Clients quickly notice when law firms do not perform this type of follow-up. By not doing so, you are going to ignore—perhaps—the best opportunity to evaluate your client’s satisfaction.
Document everything while working with your client
Documentation is key to becoming an essential lawyer for your client. Beyond keeping track of your client’s affairs, keep track of their communication preferences, billing, and other aspects not directly related to the core business. What questions about the procedure did they ask? What concerns did they raise? What was important to them beyond the result? Knowing all of these issues and addressing them proactively will make you even more valuable to your client.