What irks clients that they discard one firm for another? What annoys your clients about you or what does your firm do that stands out to them? Do you know what the client experience is like for those who interact with your firm?
The way business is conducted today differs considerably from how it was some years back. Businesses are focusing more on delivering exceptional experiences to their clients to attract and retain more. The changing interactions between clients and businesses globally has led to prospects and clients expecting more from any business they interact with. Prospects and clients have come to expect more from businesses. They have been conditioned through their experiences with other service organizations and through their consumer experiences to ask for more and in most cases demand it. They expect the same quality of service, detail to attention and personalized delivery they get elsewhere to be consistent from one business organization to another. Inconsistencies are frowned at and leave a bad impression in the minds of the modern-day customer. Service delivery businesses that do not meet those standards easily stand out like a sore thumb. Forward-thinking businesses worldwide are focused on delivering a uniform experience to all customers from the moment of initial contact and all throughout the customer journey. In this age of social sharing, customer experiences good or bad easily go viral and affect the buying decisions of others.
Customer experience is really about building enduring, wholesome and memorable relationships through lasting experiences with clients. Attorneys must realize that they are not just providing legal services; they are building relationships. In today’s highly competitive environment, any advantage can tip the scale in your favour. Law firms and lawyers whose customer service is even just slightly better put them ahead of the pack. Exceptional customer experience will create loyalty and grow your law practice. Satisfied clients become ambassadors of organizations that they have exceptional experiences with and recommend such organizations to friends and family (word of mouth recommendations are arguably the most powerful way to attract high-quality clients). It is important that every law firm should include customer experience as part of their overall client attraction, acquisition and retention strategy.
The quality of experiences affects the depth and quality of relationships. Delivering exceptional client services and experiences is a powerful promoter of growth that law firms must not ignore or treat as trivial.
I ask again, what is your customer/client experience like? Are you deliberate and intentional about the experiences of your clients? Are the experiences consistent? Are the experiences random? Are you random about things as small as who answers the phone, how it is answered, and how messages are conveyed, to larger things, such as the quality of clauses in documents? If you are, you are hurting your business growth potential.
Consistency and the quality of the experiences may not have mattered a few years back, but competition for clients has led to changes in the delivery of the customer experience. The landscape has changed from what it was some years back. Client experience must be a priority for you. The customer experience must go beyond the initial contact with the client and mapping out each touchpoint between the lawyer and client until the matter is completed and beyond the conclusion of the matter to ensure brand loyalty.
You need to take a holistic view of your entire client experience and put in place things that will help customers along the journey from their initial contact with you, during their interactions with you and even after their matter is concluded. The client needs to feel cared for and know for a fact that he is important to you. Each interaction must be as simple and as seamless as possible and the customer satisfaction key, each step of the way. It’s a human thing, human beings always crave for memorable experiences. Make every interaction as pleasant and as memorable as possible. Be the only “obvious” option to your clients.
Never forget that communication is key. Let your clients know that you listen and that they can easily reach you. Create multiple channels of communication. Respond to all communications promptly. Communication requires that you keep your clients up to date on their matters and issues affecting them. Give them constant updates and keep assuring them that you are working on what they have presented to you.
Communication is not complete without feedback. Ask your clients for their opinions. Let them know their opinions matter. Ask them what they expect and how you can improve your service delivery to them. Again, use multiple communication channels – email, WhatsApp, phone calls etc.
To give your clients an exceptional experience, you need to involve everyone in your firm, without exception. It involves a cultural shift in the way the entire firm operates. Everyone must understand the goal and work in tandem with the set objectives. Empower employees with adequate knowledge and any other form of authority needed to take immediate action or decisions that are geared towards enhancing the customer experience. It should be clear to everyone that any behaviour or activity that compromises on the goal of giving clients an exceptional experience will have consequences and of course, any effort to give clients an exceptional experience will also be rewarded and acknowledged.