The ABA recently simplified its dues structure and added new membership benefits. The ABA expects these improvements to increase revenues and add 83,000 members over the next 4 years. Lawyers can similarly raise revenues by offering alternative fees and providing exceptional services. Read on for tips to strengthen client relations and create opportunities for revenue growth.
Communications. Update engagement letters and use them. Keep in touch with clients after engagement by sending status updates, relevant articles, and congratulating clients for awards, birthdays, and promotions.
Feedback. Add a comment form to your website so that clients can submit feedback. Ask clients to submit positive feedback to social media.
Fees. Give clients fee estimates and offer alternative billing arrangements like fixed fees and discounts. Use e-billing and encourage clients to pay bills electronically.
Hospitality. Ask your assistant to let clients know the expected wait time on arrival at your office. Offer visitors a beverage and snack. Send holiday cards and invite clients to lunch and educational programs.
Promptness. Be on time for appointments and return phone calls and written communications within 24 hours. Ask your assistant to determine urgency of inquiries and alternative times for call back.
Website. Assign responsibility for updating lawyer biographies and practice areas at your website. Add informative articles and FAQ’s to give clients and prospects a reason to visit.
Technology. Use software to improve billing, calendaring, marketing, time keeping, and tracking. Use client portals for secure communications and marketing.
Resources. Enroll in the ABA’s Law Practice and General Practice Divisions which are now free with ABA membership. Read lawyer guides to Increasing Revenues (click here for table of contents) and Improving Client Experiences. Read articles about alternative fees, firm makeovers, client newsletters, satisfaction surveys and service technologies.
Conclusion. The Internet and social media have empowered clients to look more critically at lawyers and legal services. Clients seek trusted advisors with expert knowledge, interpersonal skills, and technical abilities. Use the resources mentioned in this article to improve client services and enhance firm revenues.