Legal services are costly, and clients typically make a huge financial investment when they hire an attorney. As such, they have a right to expect a high level of service for their purchase. And because legal services are not usually enjoyable for the consumer -– like a spa package, an elegant dinner out, or a luxurious vacation — lawyers need to work even harder to demonstrate that they are worth the money being expended.
Since we cannot guarantee winning every case, how can we prove our worth to our clients? How can we assure that clients feel like their money was well spent and received the level of service they expected? The following tips may help:
1. Set Expectations and Meet Them.
Many consumers of legal services have not worked with a lawyer before, so they may not know what they should expect. During the initial consultation with the prospective client, the lawyer should set these expectations. Let the prospective client know the best way to communicate with the lawyer — setting up a call, email, scheduling with an assistant — and how quickly they can realistically expect the lawyer to respond. The lawyer should also communicate to the prospective client how the lawyer will keep the client informed about the case and how they will work together to strategize and discuss developments as the matter proceeds.
Additionally, the lawyer should inform the client about the other staff members who will work on the case and how delegation of tasks will be handled to maximize value. It is also important that the lawyer listens to what the prospective client expects to receive in terms of legal services and to assure that these expectations are reasonable under the circumstances and can be met
Once all the particulars are explained to the prospective client and expectations are set, the lawyer is obligated to fulfill what was promised to assure client satisfaction.
2. Make the Client A Priority.
No matter how many cases we are juggling, each client purchasing our legal services should be made to feel that they are our priority. This is certainly not easy when multiple clients may need us at the same time. Nonetheless, before we take on another case, we need to stop and ask ourselves whether we truly have the capacity to do so.
In other words, no matter the size of the matter, can we give the prospective client the time and attention that they deserve? If we indeed cannot, then allow them to find a lawyer who can provide them with the attention they deserve.
3. Details Matter.
A lawyer can prove their worth by giving clients an excellent legal product. This means paying attention to detail. Use proper grammar and punctuation in emails. Don’t send clients written documents with typos or mistakes. This attention to detail should extend to staff as well. Everyone who deals with the client or with the work product on the client matter should exude professionalism and make the client realize the value they are receiving for the legal service they are buying.
4. Do Your Best At All Times.
While we cannot guarantee results for clients, and not every case ends up as a win, what we can do to prove our worth is to let our clients know that we are doing our very best for them. That means being attentive to the client, truly listening to their goals, and providing them with the best advice and legal service possible.
Showing clients that we are there for them and will advocate for them is what makes lawyers invaluable when there is a problem that needs to be resolved. A lawyer will prove their worth by being available and attentive to client needs and providing an excellent work product.