Basics of client care
So what is client care? To understand client care you need to understand the essential purpose of business. A law firm is a business that is selling a service to a customer. The quality of the service is crucial in determining whether a customer comes back. Therefore, client care is having the skills to ensure that a client feels satisfied with the service you are providing and ideally would request or recommend your services in the future. It is why many partners have the lingering question of whether they could picture you sitting in front of a client.
Tips and tricks
There are numerous ways and practical tips to develop your client care skills and understand how to build long-lasting relationships with your clients.
Understand your client’s history and background
A successful lawyer understands their client’s needs and wants. For example, if a client has come to you for legal advice for their business, an in-depth knowledge of what your client’s business is and what factors are currently affecting the industry or sector your client operates in is key in understanding the client better. Doing research into the client’s business, reading about the client’s competitors and the challenges in the industry are all important when providing a service to your client.
Use your interpersonal skills
A great lawyer will have the interpersonal skills to be personable, friendly and inviting when dealing with their clients. Being involved and gaining work experience in more people-facing roles, such as retail and food service, is an excellent way to learn how to deal with different types of personalities. You may wish to take part in a society, a volunteering group or a team project which requires you to work with different people and build relationships.
Communicate, communicate, and don’t forget to communicate!
We have all experienced bad customer service at one point and a shared factor in this terrible experience is the lack of communication. When dealing with clients, the client should be ensured that they can contact you if they need to and they are updated and informed on the work that you are doing. You can build these strong communication skills by taking advantage of different methods of contact (email, phone, or video), addressing clients directly when handling issues or queries and speaking simply and concisely.
Manage your client’s expectations
A lawyer with great client care skills knows how to manage their client’s expectations. This involves making the client aware of possible delays, costs and processes that the client will encounter on a matter. By communicating with your client on what to expect throughout their situation, you lessen the likelihood of the client being disappointed and increase the chances of delivering a great service.
Work together with your client
It takes two to make a relationship work and your client rapport is no exception. Your client is a primary source of information and feedback that you should constantly refer to when working on any matter. You should make sure that any issues or delays that you face is communicated to the client so both of you can work together to form a practical solution. This builds trust and clients are more likely to come to you when facing issues.
Build your network
The legal industry is built on relationships and the relationship with your client should continue after handling any matter or issue of theirs. Ask for feedback and incorporate this feedback into improving your service. Make the client aware of your other services and continue to keep informed on your client’s business and industry.
If you follow these tips, not only will your client care skills improve but other soft skills, such as communication and salesmanship, will also develop.