Avoiding the Top Three Client Complaints ...

As a law firm, you hear plenty of client complaints on a regular basis.  If you want to set yourself up for success, however, start with clear habits that help prevent clients from growing dissatisfied. Consider some of these strategies for avoiding complaints in your practice.

Reporting & Performance

1. Return Communications Promptly

 Are clients trying to get in touch with you? Whether they've left a message on your phone or sent you an email, even if it's for the fifth time that week, it's important to take the time to return those messages promptly. Clients need to know that you're going to pay attention to them; that you care about their problems and their concerns, and that you're going to do what's needed on their case.

Sometimes, it's a simple matter of dashing off a few lines in response. Other times, you may need to take a few minutes to listen to what your clients have to say over the phone, offering reassurance and advice. When you take the time to communicate with your clients, especially if they've already reached out to you, you let them know that they're important, and that their needs matter to you.

2. Check in Periodically Even if You Don't Have Anything to Report

The legal process can drag out indefinitely, leaving both you and your clients feeling as though you're spinning your wheels. Sometimes, you need to wait on documents to come in from third parties. Other times, you need to wait for a court date or for a judge to return your call. All too often, these things take time and you may not have anything to report to your clients for days or weeks at a time.

Check in anyway.

One of the most common client complaints in the legal profession is lawyers who fail to communicate as the process moves forward. Many clients worry that things are happening without their knowledge. Others just want someone to check in with them and let them know how things are going. When you have clients waiting for news, make sure you check in with them regularly, even if the only thing you have to report is, 'Things are still moving forward with your case/claim, and I have nothing new to report at this time.' This simple step often increases your clients' opinion of your practice and can help keep them more patient even when things aren't going according to plan.

3. Bill Reasonably and Responsibly

Your clients expect to get a bill from you, and they expect to get it on time. It's your responsibility, however, to ensure that the bill arrives in a timely manner and that it reflects your clients' actual expenses. If you over-charge, you leave clients scrambling to come up with more funds than anticipated not to mention feeling a little ripped off. On the other hand, if you under-charge, you're left in the uncomfortable position of having to go back for those funds later, which can cause negative feelings from your client.

With the right billing and time management options, like the ones offered by LawMaster, you can reduce the odds that you will accidentally over or under-charge a client. Not only can you more accurately schedule meetings, calls, and contacts with your clients, you can better monitor exactly the time you spend working for each client, which will make your bills more accurate and your client interactions easier to manage. Need to learn more? Check out our website today and get in touch to discover how our Practice Management Solutions can streamline operations throughout your practice.

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