What is client management?
Client management is the process of managing a law firm’s relationship with its customers. Good client management involves taking responsibility for all the aspects of the relationship and ensuring high client satisfaction. In this blog, we will look at why it is important for lawyers, how to improve your client care and top tips for building positive relationships.
Why client management is important for lawyers
As a lawyer, a lot of your work will involve clients. The ability to attract clients, manage clients and deliver for clients is essential to the success of a lawyer’s career and vital in the lawyer’s path to partnership. The importance of client management is rising year on year due to the ever-evolving online landscape. Today’s legal clients have an abundance of options when looking online for legal services which makes it much more competitive and those who want to succeed must implement a client-centred approach. This applies to law firms and lawyers alike.
To differentiate yourself online it is important to have a strong personal brand. Part of this will involve showcasing your expertise in the field. One of the best ways to do this is via testimonials and reviews. People love to trust people, which is why bad reviews can tank the career of any lawyer, and similarly, good reviews can catapult a lawyer’s success tenfold.
Not only this, but word of mouth has become more important than ever due to the online nature in which one can share their opinion and so, whilst there is nowhere to hide there is also a platform to be seen and upon which you can promote yourself and your service. So how do you set yourself up to be client-centred and how do you improve your client care.
How to improve client care
Enhance your intake process
The intake process can be one of the more challenging aspects of a lawyer’s day-to-day role as there is a lot of potential for things to go wrong; there’s the possibility that the client will lose faith in the ability of you as a lawyer or your law firm and ultimately go elsewhere. It’s important to remind yourself of the nature of your role as a lawyer and remember that, depending on your practice area, it might involve very personal matters and often aspects of client’s lives that can be very emotional. This is why ensuring your intake process runs smoothly and maintaining strong client communication skills will leapfrog you in front of your competitors in exceptional client service and aid you in your path to partnership.
Whilst the intake process is a law firm’s responsibility, it is up to you to carry out the process and figure out where it can be improved. Ensuring you follow and look out for improvements along the way will showcase your skills as a lawyer and helping you to stand out to your line manager or supervising partner. These are the aspects of a lawyer’s role that the highest quality lawyers will think about. Thinking about the organisation not just your day-to-day responsibilities will separate you from your peers and demonstrate that you are focused on delivering a high level of service to your clients.
Improve your client communication skills
Good client communication skills can shape your reputation as a lawyer. Every new, existing and previous client will form an impression of what it is like to work with you and thus your firm. It’s not just the outcome of the case that’s important, the whole package and the experience you deliver will shape the client’s belief in the quality of service you have provided.
In 2018 the Clio Legal Trends Report discovered that 55% of consumers wanted to learn and understand more about the legal aspects of the case in person, while on the flipside, only 2% of lawyers’ thought this. Some of the best ways to improve your client care involve improving your communication skills. Communicating clearly and often, setting expectations from the start and investing in developing your interpersonal skills, will help you to enhance the service you deliver and improve your client relationships.
Top tips for building positive client relationships
Take care of yourself
Whilst you may be surprised to see this at the top of the list, taking care of yourself can often be the best way to take care of your clients. Burnout, rushing and tiredness all impact the quality of service a lawyer can provide and it is no surprise that when a lawyer feels on top of their game their client service will be much better. Manage your workload, don’t spread yourself too thin and enable yourself to provide exceptional service over a sustained period of time. Your path to partnership is a marathon not a sprint.
Attention to detail
Looking after a client requires exceptional attention to detail. Not only will you need an expert eye to comb through the finer details of a case, but you should also be meticulous when it comes to client care. . Arriving on time, being punctual, understanding their desires and delivering the right results will all showcase your expert client care. Clients want to feel as though they are your top priority – by not communicating often, missing meetings or being underprepared, will all hinder your success.
Listen carefully, communicate clearly
Many relationships break down due to communication problems often because one party has failed to listen and understand what it is the other party really wants. for the same applies to client management. Making sure that both you and the client have a mutual understanding of what the desired outcome and process will be will help the lawyer-client relationship to operate smoothly. Combining this with regular touch points, attention to detail and taking the time to look after your own wellbeing will enable exceptional client care.
At Realm, our business is client care, we have helped plenty of lawyers get their dream roles by coaching them through the process, providing information on the current market and connected them with the right law firms for their priorities. All of this we have done by providing an excellent service managing expectations whilst delivering results which is why our Google reviews are 4.8/5. If you would like help with your job search or a free no-obligation chat to learn more about the market and what options there are available get in touch with our specialist team on 03300 245 606.