Over the next couple of months we will be posting a five-part blog series that touches on building a strong referral network. Each piece will provide concrete tactics on how to cultivate and maintain relationships with referral sources-both clients and other attorneys. Today we take a look at the value of providing exceptional customer service.
Making a strong first impression and providing exceptional customer service are the first steps to engaging a potential referral. Responding to a prospective client within two hours as well as providing a free consultation will assist in building rapport for a trusting relationship. In addition, keeping an open line of communication regarding things like trial dates, fees, documents or progress will help eliminate confusion. One client may prefer an email while another may prefer a phone call. Whatever the case, be adaptable to the unique needs of each client.
Determine what the client wants to see happen and how they expect the attorney relationship to work. While all clients hope for good news, it is important for an attorney to be realistic about their chances of success. Spending a little extra time communicating in the beginning can make for an amicable partnership.
Clients may not necessarily remember everything they heard when they visited your office, but they will remember how they felt. Providing top-notch customer service and showing that you’re there to advocate on their behalf will lead them to boast about your services. Ultimately, asking clients for testimonials to use on your website or marketing collateral can reaffirm that your claims are credible and your services are legitimate.
The key to building your referral network successfully is to integrate it into your regular business process. Use these three techniques to help provide exceptional customer service:
DEVELOP A CLIENT INTAKE PLAN
A good intake process converts referrals into clients. It serves the law firm by managing issues like data collection and case qualification while also aligning with consumer values and expectations.
Actively listen to clients when they are speaking and convey your understanding of the difficult situation they are in. Expressing a desire to help through thoughtful questioning will make a client feel more like a person and less like another case.
Exceptional customer service also means communicating once a resolution has been reached by sending out a client service questionnaire. This will give clients the chance to let you know how they felt about your service and suggest ways you can improve.
These strategies might seem obvious, but attorneys often don’t take advantage of them as much as they should. To learn more about the simple steps you can take to gain more quality leads and drive future business, download our free Playbook Master the Art of Referrals.