The common saying – which is quite an accurate one – is that success is relative. What determines success is the goals you have set for yourself and the extent to which you have achieved these goals. But in the legal profession, whatever measure of success lawyers decide to abide by, one constant factor is the existence of clients and the satisfaction of these clients. The success of law firms has always been directly tied to how well they can grow and maintain their client base, and keep them satisfied over time.
As a lawyer, maintaining your relationship with clients is one of the vital elements necessary to sustain your business, as they remain your primary source of income. It is important that they are kept satisfied as long as you remain in their service.
Responsiveness and Accessibility
It is understandable that sometimes lawyers get carried away in the work and barely have time for any other activities. However, one thing you should always make out time for is responding to your clients’ correspondence and messages. While it does not necessarily speak on your capability, responding to clients’ messages and calls shows that you take their needs to heart, and somehow puts their mind at ease with respect to their case being in your hands. Many lawyers would argue that client contact comes second and that the important thing is to handle the client’s case with utmost professionalism and expertise. While this may be true, being responsive and accessible when needed by the client can also be considered elements of professionalism in dealing with clients’ cases. In addition, the messages may sometimes require an urgent response and may be providing vital information necessary for the case at hand.
Consistent Updates and Information
Besides being responsive and accessible to clients, it is also important to give constant updates and information regarding the status of their case, even without being requested. It projects an image of competency from your end and shows your clients that they remain a priority on your list of obligations. Your clients should not always have to reach out to you first before getting relevant information on the progress of their cases. Sometimes, the information may simply be updating them with the status of a litigation case or may be a more detailed explanation of the process of a contract review (including the particular software for lawyers being utilized). Either way, the flow of information should be constant.
Constantly updating your clients also gives them more time to prepare ahead for any necessary action to be carried out on their end, and portrays a sense of transparency and reliability for you and your legal establishment.
Establishing a Personal Connection
The legal profession is in essence a business, and as a lawyer, your relationship with clients is professional. However, both you and your clients ultimately remain people and are guided by virtually the same natural principles. Your clients are likely to remain in business with you if they trust in both your capabilities and your discretion, and one way to win the trust of clients is by establishing a personal relationship with them. Establishing a personal connection with clients is a result achieved over some time and not a one-time thing. It becomes more and more possible as you continue to treat your clients with dignity and respect. A personal connection is also established on both sides due to better understanding of each other, and one way to truly understand your clients better will be showing polite interest in both their business and personal lives during discussions.
Modernizing your Business Outlook
At the very least, a functioning law firm in this day and age should have a professional-looking, well-functioning, and constantly updated website. Apart from creating a modern and professional outlook, an official website contains vital information about the firm, your areas of specialization, and your landmark cases and achievements. As minor as it may seem, having an online presence goes a long way in boosting your client’s confidence in your practice. More importantly, it makes it easier for potential clients to have basic information about your firm, and many times influences their decision on whether or not to work with you. Virtually every successful law firm today has a website, and it is hard to imagine any considerable level of growth for firms without any online presence.
Having an Updated Digital Library
This segment focuses more on the “winning cases” aspect of this article than the “working with clients” part. As stated earlier, winning cases on behalf of clients is one of the most definite ways to ensure their satisfaction.
Winning cases in the legal profession requires a good deal of research and preparation before the case commences and during the case. Having an online or digital repository containing legal cases, statutes and other sources of law will greatly enhance the level of research and preparation you go through, throughout your case. This keeps you right on top of your game during legal proceedings, as you remain aware of the most recent laws and resources relevant to your case. You thereby have a higher chance of winning the case, which also means a higher possibility of keeping your clients satisfied.
In essence, what clients want is for their needs to be addressed professionally and efficiently by their legal representatives. Therefore, whether it is answering basic inquiries like “what is contract analysis?” or giving full-blown legal advice at the request of clients, lawyers and law firms must keep in mind that every activity adopted must ultimately fulfill the needs of their clients.