Updated: Sep 1
“You never get a second chance to make a good impression.” This age-old axiom rings true for every law firm trying to acquire new clients. You truly have one shot to try and capture the attention of your prospective clients.
Unlike other businesses, you are delivering an experience, not a product. Because you aren’t selling something tangible, your firm needs the tools to speak for itself. One of those tools is your set of communication skills.
In a survey of the online reviews from 12 firms across the Western United States, 44% of the reviews directly highlighted communication as one of the most meaningful skills a firm could have in creating a positive experience for clients.
Next to the obvious desire for a fair settlement, clients want to feel a part of the process. This primarily comes through clear, consistent and proactive communication.
Let’s take a closer look.
Seems simple enough, right? Turns out, impressing your clients isn’t so hard after all.
Reviews across all firms highlighted the importance of clear communication.
There is a reason your client hired you to take their case: you have legal expertise that they don’t! That means they won’t understand half of the words that get thrown around in your office.
When communicating with clients, park your legal jargon at the door, and give them the comfort that comes with simplified understanding.
Meeting clients on their level will build trust and foster an environment where they feel that they are secure and in good hands.
In the eyes of your clients, clear communication also involves the expectations you set up front regarding the behind-the-scenes of their case. A heaping 80% of consumers reported clear communication of next steps as an essential factor when evaluating a firm’s trustworthiness.
Striving for clarity in all forms of communication will ultimately boost the reliability of your firm and generate more positive experiences for your clientele.
You may have been able to wow clients with your investment in their case upon the first consultation, but do your actions reflect that same investment as the case progresses?
A closer look at reviews shows that consistency is almost as important as the communication itself.
Nearly half of the reviews commented on communication skills from the 12 firms surveyed. Each of these reviews mentioned how they were kept in the loop throughout the duration of their case instead of only receiving an update here and there.
It is no secret that legal work takes time. Lucky for you, time is your friend when it comes to proving your dependability.
Each time there is an update in the case, you have the opportunity to showcase consistent care and concern for the well being of your client’s legal predicament.
Who says you have to wait for clients to contact you first? No one.
Think of the last time someone did something for you without asking. Maybe it was a household chore, or a coworker who bought you lunch. It doesn’t matter the scenario-we all know how good it feels for someone to take initiative to lessen our load.
Your clients are the same way. They likely are busy people (just like you) with schedules that are not conducive to calling your office every week looking for a case update.
So, beat your clients to the punch with proactive communication.
Notify clients when there will be longer stretches of time in a particular phase. Teach them what is happening and how long certain tasks might take. Provide answers to frequently asked questions on your website or on automated update software like Milestones.
Whatever you do, reminding clients of your presence and the investment you have in their case is sure to be an unforgettable experience that they will talk about for years to come.
Across the same survey of reviews between the 12 firms, each firm averaged 4.88 stars on their Google reviews. It’s no surprise that almost half of the clients leaving these reviews raved about communication skills.
Additionally, every business has KPI's (key performance indicators). A huge indicator of communication performance is how many of your reviews tout your clarity, consistency and proactivity of communication.
It is evident that we are discussing more than just updating our customers. Rather, communication is ensuring clients that they can trust you in both word and deed. Confidence between firm and client is fostered as you follow these simple suggestions to fine tune communication skills within your firm.
12 randomly selected Personal Injury law firms across the Western United States were surveyed. The Google reviews were examined and searched for the impacts of communication on client
relations with each firm.
To keep their confidentiality, the names of the firms are not disclosed.
18/30 reviews (60%) about responsiveness and communication. Overall rating of 5 stars.
23/64 reviews (35.9%) about responsiveness and communication. Overall rating of 4.9 stars.
18/29 reviews (62%) about communication. Overall rating of 4.6 stars.
25/77 reviews (32.46%) about communication. Overall rating of 5 stars.
10/26 reviews (38.46%) about communication. Overall rating of 5 stars.
17/43 reviews (39.53%) about communication. Overall rating of 4.9 stars.
129/339 reviews (38%) about communication. Overall rating of 4.9 stars.
8/30 reviews (26.67%) about communication. Overall rating of 4.8 stars.
11/16 reviews (68.75%) about communication. Overall rating of 4.9 stars.
14/38 reviews (36.8%) about communication. Overall rating of 4.9 stars.
10/24 reviews (41.67%) about communication. Overall rating of 4.9 stars.
12/26 reviews (46.15%) about communication. Overall rating of 4.8 stars.