Lawyer-client communication: The secret to keeping your clients happy
Okay, so it really isn’t a secret, particularly since effective collaboration and communication has long been an integral part of the lawyer-client relationship. Nevertheless, it’s important that you do not underestimate just how vital it actually is.
It is no secret that technology is constantly evolving, and there are solutions out there that can improve your collaboration with clients and exceed expectations.
5-star communication = fewer client complaints = happier clients
If you want to be a successful law firm, you need to keep your clients happy — and one of the best ways to do that is by providing information and transparency to your clients through effective collaboration.
In fact, effective and continual lawyer-client collaboration and communication can help prevent a wide range of common client complaints.
Never hear “My lawyer is not communicating with me”
Regardless of whether it is unreasonable, many clients today expect an almost-immediate response when they contact you. The reality, however, is that you may be in court, at a settlement conference, meeting with other clients, on vacation, or busy completing any number of important tasks — but your client doesn’t know this. And if you don’t get back to them right away, they may continue trying to contact you by any means necessary, including a flurry of emails and numerous calls to the firm’s front desk and your cellphone.
However, active collaboration can help avoid these communication issues, particularly when paired with the right tech. For example, there are online collaboration tools you can use to communicate with clients — and they are far more secure than email. So, when your client has a question or concern, they know to go to the one place to send you a direct, secure message — meaning they don’t have to guess the best way to get in touch with you. This keeps the lines of communication open, and the client informed.
Never hear “My lawyer is not fighting for me”
Many clients aren’t very familiar with the inner workings of the legal system or the practice of law — meaning they don’t necessarily know all the work being done on their cases behind the scenes.
A legal team may spend weeks researching, writing, and fine-tuning a motion or pleading, but the client only sees the final product, so they don’t know the labour put into it. And if the lawyer isn’t making an extra effort to keep the client informed, they may not think that is doing much work on their case. But by keeping the client involved through collaboration and communication, they will have a better understanding of all the work you are doing to protect them and their best interests.
Online collaboration technology
Portals with core client service capabilities can give your client 24/7 access to content related to their legal matters, such as overviews, billing statements, ongoing conversations and a variety of self-service options. By having one secure place to do it all, your client will be happier, and you can help prevent a whole host of unnecessary and otherwise avoidable problems and complaints down the road.
Other ways online collaboration tools can help
When considering an online collaboration tool, look for one that has the ability to securely share large documents. This will allow you and your clients to collaborate on documents anytime, anywhere, and on any device. And since you don’t have to use email anymore, you will never have to worry about the file being too large to send.
Not only can online tools help you collaborate with clients but also other lawyers at your firm. Just like working with clients, you can keep your staff and other lawyers informed, collaborate on case documents, and manage case tasks with just a few clicks.
The legal world is ever-changing. Focus on what matters most by investing in an online collaboration tool that simplifies your work. Your clients will thank you.