In the past two decades, the customer world has transformed dramatically. Search engines and even social media has transferred power from sellers to consumers. Simultaneously, industries are experiencing technical development threats, which has enabled new competitors to challenge the executives or business owners. No longer do customers need to be attached with unsatisfactory providers. They can switch to others and develop their customer experience even in the legal sector.
Does law consumer experience need any improvement?
In legal industry, clients are making their primacies very clear –
- According to research only 4% consumer’s said fees was the main aspect to choose a legal firm.
- More than half of clients choose a law firm as they have recommendation from trusted sources or have used them in the past.
- 95% of business clients are associated with the specific legal firm due to their quality legal advice.
Looking at the points given above, it is vital for lawyers to boost their communication with clients, so as to improve each aspect regarding their law practice.
How to proactively manage communication during personal injury process to give best customer experience?
Lawyers communicate with their clients but ignore their voice tone, body, position, or facial expression with the phrases and words they say. Often their clients feel concerned and angry, if their lawyer does not contact them for a long period.
Personal injury lawyer is intentional in communicating, so as to inspire cooperation and confidence. Good communication occurs, when lawyers are aware about self-messaging even when surrounded by stress or other emotions. Otherwise emotions will influence their behavior and thinking unconsciously. Awareness helps to reframe the messages, so that client hears what the lawyer intends. Some clients call too often, which can lead to frustration that displays in your communication and lowers client’s confidence and eagerness to cooperate.
Communication is 2-way process
Two people start with different perception regarding same event. They naturally reach different assumption of what it involves and what steps to take. Each communication cycle step is susceptible to deteriorate from previous step. Therefore, take steps carefully to maintain good communication and integrity of messages.
Client communication is a crucial tool to maintain long term relationships. They can transform into repeat clients and considerable reference sources. Better client’s experience and perception of your professionalism results from your created interaction [intentionally or unintentionally does not matter].
Screening & intake process
Lawyers need to use screening & intake process prior selecting a client just like allowing clients to select you to represent them. In the first consulting process, you wish to find your client’s qualities as much as you can as well as the quality of case.
Intake form will offer crucial information like how client found you and why they are getting in touch with you now. Create questionnaires for potential clients. After collecting information perform conflict check and decide if conflict actually exists or not. If the conflict is waivable then attain your client’s written consent. If there is no conflict then document the checking process and results in client’s file.
When a lawyer decides to represent a personal injury client then they need to discuss fee agreement, according to the rules of their state. In majority of cases, written fee agreement is needed with limited exceptions. If case is accepted on contingent fee basis then there will a need to follow specific rules and form filling.
Fee agreements need to clearly define relationship scope with clients. It is a way to communicate with clients about fees, when to expect payment, what are your charges for, will interest be charged on delayed payments and what happens if client stops paying.
If it is flat fee then collect a percentage as upfront. Fee agreement needs to be reviewed with the clients. Both the lawyer and the client need to hold a copy of the fee agreement. In this way, you can avoid surprises down the road for both you and the clients.
Clients always assume to be kept updated about the status of your case. Even if there is nothing new to be shared with them they expect to be informed. It is suggested to respond to their emails and calls within 24 hours.
You can check-in with them within every six weeks. In case, you are out of town ensure to use out-of-office email alerts. When client’s expectations get fulfilled, it is easy to manage good relationship and offer positive consumer experience of working with your firm.
Client’s perception about their case is different than their lawyers. This disconnection can be the main cause of several issues, which can be prevented easily. Make sure to confirm outcomes of calls and meetings in writing, so as to protect yourself from clients complains of not being informed properly.
As best clients are best word-of-mouth sources, it is suggested to ask for their feedback about their case experience. It is good data, which can help you make alterations in future. Clients even appreciate being asked about their opinion about their personal injury case results, their experience with the lawyer’s firm and if anything needs to be improved.