Start Improving your Customer Service Now

By John Strohmeyer

So you know you need to focus on your people, your delivery, and your systems if you want to improve your service. What can you do to start improving right now?

 

 

On the people front, everyone in your firm needs to understand that you expect each interaction to start with a smile. A warm, friendly smile conveys that the firm is a warm and friendly place to do business. Show emotion—this is a technical field, but we’re not mindless legal automatons. And that doesn’t mean we need some fake grin permanently plastered on our face. Individual circumstances will obviously change your reactions. But we do need to start with the expectation that each interaction should be a pleasant experience.

Turning to delivery, one of the ways that you can connect with clients is to use their names—especially on the phone. While we can easily display attentiveness when someone is across the table, doing so on a call requires a specific verbal strategy. By working in a person’s name three times during a call, you can show that you know who they are and care about their individual needs.

Finally, you can’t improve service without setting up systems. Ideally, these systems should be set up as checklists so that employees deliver services consistently. Though checklists are often dismissed as dry and “one size fits all,” having a roadmap actually frees up an employee to focus more on the individual client. Since the system is already there, they never have to think about what to do next, and can instead stay attuned to the client’s needs and demeanor.

Another benefit of having systems in place is that you have a metric to measure the quality of a client interaction. Were all items on the checklist accomplished? How long did it take to complete those steps? Where can you improve the process?

By systematizing your firm and training your staff, you will raise the bar to the point where they’re not worried about the basics, and they can focus on taking care of the client.

You as an attorney are very smart, very capable, and probably care a lot about your work—but that doesn’t mean that you have a corner on serving clients.

You should to be more than the good lawyer. You want to be the provider that clients talk about and compare others to. You want clients to walk into your office feeling welcome, and walk out with a sense of assurance.

And here at Five Star Counsel, I want to help you accomplish that. Every week we’ll explore customer service in the legal industry, from practical strategies, to pitfalls, to case studies from major brands like Starbucks and The Four Seasons.

You’re a service provider—come learn how to be one.


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