As a lawyer, one of your most important relationships is the one you have with your clients. After all, without clients, there would be no need for lawyers! While it’s impossible to please every client all of the time, there are certain things you can do to build a strong, lasting relationship that is beneficial for both parties. Here are five tips for improving the client-lawyer relationship.
1. Communicate openly and frequently.
One of the most important things you can do to build a strong relationship with your clients is to keep the lines of communication open at all times. This means promptly returning phone calls and emails, being available to answer questions, and keeping clients updated on the status of their case. By staying in touch, you’ll build trust and show that you’re committed to meeting their needs.
2. Be honest and upfront about fees.
No one likes surprises when it comes to legal fees, so it’s important to be upfront about costs from the very beginning. Give clients a realistic estimate of what they can expect to pay, and let them know if there are any potential additional costs that could arise. By being transparent about fees, you’ll avoid any unpleasant surprises down the road.
Recommendation: How to optimize your law firm’s annual rates
3. Keep your promises.
When you make a promise to a client—whether it’s about returning their call within 24 hours or finishing a draft of their will by a certain date—it’s important that you follow through. If for some reason you’re unable to keep your promise, be sure to communicate this to the client as soon as possible so they’re not left in the dark.
4. Be responsive to feedback—both positive and negative.
It’s important to listen when your clients give feedback, whether it’s praise for a job well done or constructive criticism about something that could have been done better. Showing that you’re open to feedback shows that you value your clients’ input and want to provide them with the best possible service.
5. Show appreciation for your clients’ business—and refer them when you can’t help them directly.
Saying “thank you” goes a long way in showing your appreciation for your clients’ business. And if you ever find yourself in a situation where you’re unable to help them directly (for example, if their case falls outside of your area of practice), try referring them to another attorney who might be able to assist them better. By showing appreciation and being willing to go the extra mile, you’ll solidify your reputation as a lawyer who puts her clients’ needs first—and that’s sure to win repeat business down the road!
Building strong relationships with clients is essential for any lawyer who wants to be successful in his/her practice. By following these five tips, you can start making strides toward improving the client-lawyer relationship today!