Providing great customer service is often at the focal point of today’s retail and service related industries. It’s easy to see why. First of all, there is so much competition out there between brick and mortar retailers and online shopping experiences that if your organization doesn’t measure up, your customer base has plenty of other options to take their business elsewhere.
The same really can be said for the legal industry as well. Very good, talented, and qualified legal professionals are fairly easy to come by. Sure, we all like to think we offer something more valuable in our expertise than other law firms, but something that really gets overlooked in differentiating one firm from the next is great customer service. It’s an art that often becomes an afterthought in the legal profession, yet can make a huge difference in attracting a larger and more financially rewarding customer base. Consider the following five tips to providing great customer service in your law firm to attract more clients and subsequently increase profits.
Recruit for Service
Sure, some aspects of customer service can be taught. But, you can give your law firm a serious service boost by hiring people that are naturally energetic, positive, and service focused to begin with. Some people are very talented, but lack a certain skill set that involves people pleasing. Don’t make the mistake of looking for the stereotypical “Yes Men.” There is a difference between hiring people that merely tow the company line by telling you what you want to hear and hiring people that are genuinely likeable, conscientious, and aim to please.
Picture Yourself As A Client
There is perhaps no better way to understand what your clients want and need than by putting yourself in their shoes. Act as a client in every respect. Sit in the waiting area, while noticing how the receptionist greets people. Take a view of the surroundings. Does your office give off a good vibe — A positive feng shui, so to speak? Is there cold water to drink and hot coffee available? How comfortable are the chairs in the conference rooms? What’s the noise level like? What are the waiting times like in-person and on the phone? Consider all the variables of what it feels like to be a client at your law firm. Make note of the areas that you think can be improved and take action accordingly.
The old saying goes, “It can’t hurt to ask.” This is especially true when it comes to providing great customer service. Don’t be afraid to ask your clients how you’re doing. Better yet, don’t be afraid to get negative feedback. In fact, embrace the negativity because these are the most fruitful lessons to be learned in the area of customer service.
The Secret Shopper
Okay, so it’s all well and good to picture yourself as the client, but in many cases this may not give you the most accurate representation of what it’s like to be a client at your firm. The reason for this is that most employees will be on their very best behavior in the presence of the boss. This can produce unrealistic results. Therefore, it is a good idea to hire someone as a secret shopper, a person who poses as a client to get the real feel for what it’s like to be a client, and then reports back to you.
Support a Service First Culture
When you witness great customer service, shout it out to the rest of the firm and recognize it with an appropriate reward if possible. Nothing supports a positive culture like recognition. Announce great customer service in meetings, publish it in company newsletters, and let your clients know as well. Before you know it, the entire payroll will be striving to achieve such high praise.
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