Client satisfaction is a tricky maze to navigate. In some ways, we are most successful as lawyers when clients on both sides are equally dissatisfied. The object of the game is to settle on a solution that is fair to all concerned. This necessarily means that no one side is going to get the key to the city and the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
That said, we risk great lawyer dissatisfaction if our clients do not refer us to others or come back when the need arises.
In "Three Secrets to Effective Communication" Walter Bristow, a US lawyer who practises estates law (amongst other things) says that to convince people to act or buy a service we need to:
- Involve them by asking questions, not simply tell them the law or what we think;
- Motivate by telling an illustrative story that engages them and evokes their curiosity; and
- Use analogies to turn the abstract into something tangible – he gives an example of how to explain a trust as akin to a warehouse with trustees as security guards
Most people make decisions based on emotion. Advertisers already know this – I’ll bet you’ve seen an ad or two with kittens or babies in them. How, then, do we constructively harness this knowledge with a view to providing client satisfaction and excellent service in the legal industry? At the end of the day, it is not how a client does, but how he or she feels that will determine the level of satisfaction and the number of referrals sent our way. Since clients are usually human, this just might have very little to do with the relative degree of success in court.
So, the next time you get a phone call or e-mail from a client, try responding just a little quicker than usual and make someone’s day!
Sharon Davis – Click here for more information on Sharon Davis.