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How to Think Like Your Clients – The Ultimate Guide for Lawyers

As a young lawyer, you know that the number of billing hours and quality work are vital components of your career. However, as you set out to succeed in the legal world, generating success relies on another element – understanding your clients and retaining them.

You may be a lawyer, but you are essentially a client because of the interactions you need to have with the people and companies offering you services.

As humans, there are certain things we all expect from our interactions, including on-time service delivery, communication, courtesy, satisfying our expectations, understanding, reassurance, and so on.

Even though you most likely have second-hand knowledge of your client’s pain points and concerns, you must think like your clients to understand what they expect from you.

Ultimate Guide: How To Think Like Your Clients

Client expectations fall into five main categories. As a provider of services, meeting these as a lawyer requires that you think like them.

1.      Communication and Expectations

Your clients reach out to you during a stressful period of their lives, and communication is one of the best ways to reassure them. The first form of communication is listening to their issue and honestly telling them what to expect. If expectations change as the case progresses, discussing these with them is vital.

Additionally, let them know that you are within the time frame required, and if not, inform them of the delay and the reasons. Finally, communication preferences are essential and must be respected –  some clients may expect more regular updates than others.

2.      Conduct

Your demeanor can make or break your relationship with your clients. Clients don’t like to feel that they are just someone bringing money to your law firm. They expect you to conduct yourself professionally while radiating compassion, trustworthiness, and courteousness. Whether you have had a good or bad day, you cannot show a client impatience or anger. Your excellent conduct is a powerful marketing tool.

3.      Genuine Interest and Connection

Putting service above income reflects that you are genuinely interested in your client. If your clients perceive that you are delivering value for money, they will respect you and not complain if you ever need to adjust costs for a case.

As lawyers, we have learned to look at the facts when facing a new case. Yes, these are important, but clients want to see your human side and the reassurance that their problem will resolve in the best possible way. Reassure them by sharing your experience with similar issues to boost their confidence.

4.      Lawyering and Reassurance

Most clients are unsure about the situations they find themselves in, and visiting your office is an entirely new situation for them. They have chosen you because of your legal knowledge, negotiation skills, and litigation skills, but they still need reassurance. Remember, most clients don’t understand legal terms, so consciously make an effort to speak in plain language.

Explain the problem and its solution. Then, be prepared to explain it a second time and to answer questions.

5.      Persistence

Ultimately, all clients want cases to finish quickly, but this is not always possible with legal outcomes. Of course, you know this, but clients don’t. Understand that your clients won’t mind if a case takes longer, as long as they can see your tenacity when dealing with their issue from start to finish.

In the end

As a lawyer, you provide an essential service that requires client interactions. Thinking like your clients broadens your ability to meet their expectations and provide them with excellent legal services. Besides wanting to put them first, they also expect the best results while not being made to feel they are one of many. It may seem like they expect a lot from you, but as a consumer yourself, you know it is the only way to keep them happy and coming back.