According to the law blog LexisNexis, winning a new client costs as much as 10 times more than retaining an existing client. In addition to this, a five percent increase in client retention can potentially increase profits between 25 to 125 percent.
Therefore, the key to sustainable profitability for any legal firm is through client retention. Below introduces useful tips to improve client retention rates for attorneys.
One of the leading complaints clients have about their attorney is that they do not return calls or emails. Timely responses and follow ups are the most important ways to keep clients happy. This also establishes reliability and credibility.
Remember that if they do not receive case status updates, most clients will assume the worst. This is especially true for clients experiencing high levels of stress and emotional turmoil.
Even if the case proceedings are stuck in legal limbo, always update clients with projected timelines and potential outcomes. Consider using case management software to track and complete tasks.
Many clients will understandably feel intimidated or uncomfortable with talking to an attorney about confidential or personal matters. This is especially true if the attorney is abrupt and uses too much legal vernacular.
Legal procedures and the court system are confusing to outsiders. Remember to use layman’s terms and be sensitive to clients’ individual needs. Remind clients that you are happy to answer any questions.
However, also remind them that while they may not like the answer, you will stick to the facts.
At the beginning of a case, an attorney may provide advice which changes due to case developments. As a result, clients may feel frustrated or that the attorney isn’t being straightforward.
Right from the start, remind clients to expect the game plan to change based on new factors. Clients need to understand that you are adapting your advice in order to strategically defend their interests. During the initial meeting, set the expectation that there will be case developments and possible unexpected changes.
Client loyalty and satisfaction can be easily created through offering genuine legal value. That is, use your areas of expertise and core competencies to deliver outstanding customer service.
Demonstrate your legal proficiency through anticipating legal problems and proactively responding to any unexpected issues. Focus on preventing potential problems and timely responding to unexpected complications.
Consider sending out regular legal updates to clients based on their individual needs and preferences. Be sure to offer clients additional resources.
Clients will most likely interact more with legal office staff than the attorneys. Therefore, it is essential to have friendly and helpful office staff who can provide top notch customer service to clients.
Set the expectation that clients deserve affordable, quality legal assistance. Paralegals, who work closely with attorneys, must be organized and efficient in order to ensure a smooth case process and clear communication. A professional and polite paralegal is worth the salary.
While many new attorneys are understandably concerned about covering costs, consider offering alternative billing options. However, in order to do this you must first under the costs of specific services and projects.
Data mine your documentation in order to establish both base and variable costs for each project category. Doing so will allow you to offer an appropriate fixed-fee portion of the overall quote. In addition to this, consider offering discounts and flexible billing options. As a result, you will build client loyalty and guarantee future business.