How to Manage Client Expectations in a Consumer-Driven Market
In a world where you can access 24-hour virtual assistants, order something online and receive it in an hour, and stream an entire season of a series in one sitting, it’s safe to say that consumers want what they want when they want it — which is as soon as possible.
Welcome to the age of accessibility and convenience, where patience is low, and consumers expect more than ever. The most successful businesses know the importance of adjusting to the demands of the modern consumer and delivering a customer experience that delivers what's expected of them.
The legal world is no exception. When looking for a lawyer, modern prospects expect to be followed up with immediately. Yet, speed is only part of ensuring a positive customer experience. A quick reply isn’t enough — on top of a fast initial response, you’ll also need to keep up with consistent communication during every phase of the client journey. You must show each client that they’re valued, treating each one like they’re the most important one you have. Ultimately, you have to meet your clients' needs to keep them coming back for more.
What Legal Clients Expect
A Quick Response
Statistics show that over 80% of consumers expect an immediate response when inquiring about legal services. However, because of the demands of a lawyer's busy schedule, it's not always easy to answer the phone immediately or write an email back instantly. Besides practicing law itself, lawyers have hours and hours of administrative work to do every day that can eat up a considerable amount of their week. It's no big surprise why a recent report revealed that over 60% of clients who contacted a law firm inquiring about their services never even heard back from the firm at all.
The same report showed that most lawyers are only able to spend an average of less than two hours a day on billable work with so much administrative work on their plate. With so much of a lawyer’s time spread thin trying to get everything done, it's not difficult to see why many lawyers feel like it's impossible to keep up with the demands of the modern consumer. Most lawyers are faced with the dilemma of trying to serve clients while still finding time to complete all of the necessary administrative duties that it takes to keep a firm going.
Friendly and Helpful Attitude
While a quick response is a great way to get things off on the right start, it's not just about speed but also the quality of the response. Legal clients expect to have their questions answered in a friendly and helpful way. Yet, so many lawyers fail to deliver the response that their prospects are looking for. In an attempt to respond to every incoming inquiry, the replies are often cold, brief, and lack important information. The end result is often clients opting for a competing firm that gave a more thorough and friendly response.
The minute a client first contacts your firm is your chance to make a lasting impression that will set the tone for what they can expect if they work for you. Not only should you be willing and able to answer any of their questions, but the most efficient law firms also know the importance of asking them questions in return. The right kind of questions to ask are things like why they need a lawyer? And whether they've ever hired a lawyer before? Asking important questions upfront can quickly determine whether you are the right fit for each other, And ultimately save everyone time.
The only way to ensure that a client is a good fit for your firm is to identify or qualify factors like their location, price range, and the type of case they have. In the absence of a thoughtful prescreen, you may find yourself scheduling consultations for people who aren't actually a good fit for your law firm. So, beyond speed, a systematic and thorough response is also important.
In the absence of a systematic intake process, there are all sorts of things that can go wrong. From drawing up contracts with the wrong information to making scheduling errors, it's important that you avoid these kinds of mishaps that could lead to negative outcomes for your clients' cases. Clients pay lawyers to solve their problems, not make more problems for them, so they’re often not very forgiving when it comes to making errors on their cases.
With so many efficient law firms out there relying on technology like a CRM for attorneys and attorney intake software, clients are less tolerant than ever of things going wrong in their case. Human error is something that can be expected with manual processes. No matter how meticulous you are, errors come up from time to time. However, by relying on technology, you can significantly reduce errors in your practice, and in turn, create greater customer satisfaction.
One of the most frustrating things for customers is inconsistency. It's not uncommon for clients to feel like they're not getting the best out of their lawyers at any given time. However, the most efficient law firms know how critical it is to deliver a consistent experience during every step of the client journey.
Beyond waiting on hold, surveys show that one of the most frustrating experiences for clients is having to repeat the same information to multiple people in a firm. Everyone who answers the phone should be on the same page about where a client stands.
The only way to deliver a consistent client experience is to use a client portal software for law firms that tracks every step of a customer’s journey. By using unified communication you can deliver a smooth experience that makes important information instantly accessible and keeps everyone in your firm on the same page about clients' cases.
One of the biggest lawyer stereotypes is that they’re dishonest and lack transparency with their pricing. In many cases, legal clients will base their decision to hire not only by responsiveness to their initial contact but also by clearly laying out their pricing from the beginning. Honesty is the best policy, and transparency won't just win you new clients, but it will keep them coming back for more. Customer loyalty comes from trust. The more transparent and trustworthy you are, the more repeat business you'll generate and the more referrals.
How The Right Software Can Help Meet Legal Clients Consumer-Driven Expectations
The right legal client intake software and legal CRM system like Lawmatics automates follow-ups, so you don’t have to pull your attention away from what matters most at your law firm to meet the demands of clients who expect immediate replies. From the initial lead capture, technology allows you to build custom automations that make your customers feel connected to you every step of the way. No more having to step away from important matters to keep your practice running — technology caters to your clients on auto-pilot through automated personalized follow-ups.
Rather than a generic automatic message, clients receive a tailored response based on their characteristics, delighting and engaging them consistently. Whether through text messaging for law firms or email, clients expecting direct access to you will be delighted at your modern and speedy communication.
Legal document automation software makes it easy to turn templates into automated workflows, saving you hours of work that it would have taken to do manually. In several clicks, you can assemble a document by merging data directly from your matters and contacts into your PDF and word documents. Not only does legal document automation reduce the chances of errors, but you gain a significant amount of time that you can focus on giving your clients the attention they deserve. No more taking attention away from your clients to spend on tedious data entry — let legal document automation do that for you.
With so many tasks already pending, the last thing lawyers need is more time-draining work. Law firms looking to take on as many clients as possible and give each one the attention they deserve need to rely on document automation software to complete everything that needs to get done without sacrificing a positive client experience that prioritizes speed and efficiency.
The modern client doesn't like to have to waste time on lengthy back and forths any more than lawyers do. Instead of wasting time sending and receiving emails trying to find a time that works for everyone’s schedule, automated appointment scheduling takes away the headache of finding the best date and time. It's as simple as syncing your Outlook or Google Calendar to your legal CRM and letting your clients choose a meeting time of their choice. Clients will love the direct access to your schedule and the ability to self-schedule with no fuss or waiting.
E-Signature Gets the Ball Rolling on Cases
For clients, the faster you can obtain a favorable resolution for their case, the better. One of the biggest causes for things moving slowly towards resolution on their case is having to wait for signatures. A traditional law firm requires their clients to print, sign, and send back documents, which can take hours today's to get done. Lawyers often find themselves chasing after clients to get things signed to get things moving along.
However, electronic signature for legal documents allows clients to sign important documents from wherever they are and send them back immediately, all from the palm of their hand. From agreements to contracts, anything you need to be done can be created and shared quickly with a client e-signature tool, making the process easier for everyone.
Analytics Show You How Happy Your Clients are
One of the most effective ways to keep up with client's expectations in a consumer-driven market is to have a clear vision of what's working and what isn't. With custom data reports, you can get a better picture of where your best clients are coming from and how happy they are. For example, by tracking client referrals, you can get a clear indication of how satisfied your customers are with their experience. In turn, you can improve your law firm's performance strategies and turn your attention back to where it matters most — the client experience.
Custom legal reporting software like Lawmatics lets you choose the data in your law firm that you want to see to improve in whatever area you need to. Data allows you to make better business decisions that can meet the demands of your clients and ultimately put more revenue in your pocket.
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Meet The Demands of the Modern Client With Lawmatics Robust Legal Software
Statistics prove that the modern client wants an immediate and thorough response. In the absence of quick communication, most people turn to a competing law firm instead. The right technology can help you increase the speed of your communication and stay organized so that you can resolve client concerns and questions without having to dig through your inbox or through papers scattered on your desk.
A CRM for lawyers is one single organized destination for a unified view of everything your law firm needs to know about its clients. You can onboard new clients effortlessly and make consistent follow-ups tailored to their unique characteristics. When you can see all of your leads and clients at a glance, it's easy to grow your practice and build a strong reputation for your law firm.
A unified system makes it easy to respond to your clients with ease and communicate efficiently. With so many competitors catching on to the fact that speed is everything in today's consumer-driven market, today, your greatest chance of standing out against your competitors is coming out on top with the help of the right technology like automation.
Are you ready to see how Lawmatics can help you meet the demands of impatient clients who expect top-notch service? Sign up for a free product demo today!