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How do Law Firms Retain Clients? Four Keys to Keeping Good Clients Happy

Noel Peel

Written by

Noel Peel


September 20, 2018


Building a book of business filled with high quality clients is tough but it can be even tougher to keep all those clients happy. Fortunately, there are four key things your law firm can do to keep your good clients happy.

1. Exceed Expectations

Good clients stay with law firms that exceed their expectations. But you can’t exceed expectations if you don’t set them first. Here are a few tips:

  • Candid conversations.
    When you first engage a new client or old clients on a new matter, have candid conversations with them about the possibilities for their case. Clients should have realistic possible outcomes for their case explained to them. If clients expect outcomes that aren’t possible, there will be no way for you to meet or exceed those unrealistic expectations.
  • Adjust your staffing levels.
    If you’re taking on more cases than your current roster of associates can handle, you must seriously consider expanding your staff. Forcing your associates to work to their capacity will jeopardize the quality of the work they produce.  The lower the quality of your law firm’s work output, the less likely you will exceed client expectations. Always look ahead to anticipate when your workload will increase so you can adjust staffing levels as necessary.

While you should always aim to exceed client expectations, keeping good clients happy will require you to also plan for the times when you fall short.

2. Prepare For The Negative Feedback

No matter how hard you work to deliver excellent work for a client, it’s inevitable that you may not meet the expectations of at least one.  Be prepared to handle client disappointments by setting up a system that addresses complaints. Here are a few tips:

  • Create a feedback system.
    Feedback can sound scary especially if you’re a solo-practitioner or a small law firm. But having a feedback system integrated into your client communications will give clients an outlet when they’re dissatisfied with the work you’ve produced. At the end of each case, ask for customer feedback in writing and be prepared to discuss issues. It’s better that a client’s first instinct is to complain to you than to complain in an online review
  • Integrate good client advice.
    Even the best law firms can benefit from improvement to their systems and processes. Track client feedback and be prepared to integrate their suggestions when it makes sense for your law practice.

Not only will integrating suggested improvements benefit your law firm, it will help your law firm keep your best clients happy.

3. Train Your Support Staff

Administrative assistants, receptionists, paralegals, anyone who comes in contact with your clients must have customer service training. Never assume that support staff knows how to handle clients and difficult situations. Invest in training your support staff on how to answer phones, how long to keep someone on hold, take messages, and de-escalate irate clients. Your investment in customer service training will pay off by helping your current clients feel respected and appreciated.

4. Stay In Contact

Reach out to your list of current clients at least once a year even if they don’t have an open matter. Send clients news about your law firm, legal tips, and other important information. Letting your clients know that you’re thinking about them will help foster a solid and lasting business relationship.

If you want to keep your good clients longer, you must focus on maintaining their happiness.




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