Developing and preserving positive client relationships
Your relationship with your existing clients is an important source of future business growth.
You can develop stronger client relationships by implementing some of the actions and practices as outlined below.
- Communicate frequently with clients: Creating a personal connection is key to establishing a strong client relationship. Regularly get in contact with your clients to make sure your firm is meeting their needs. Make an effort to build a personal rapport with your client beyond email.
- Understand client needs: Each client has different needs and desires. Take time to get to know a potential client, learn about their legal issues and needs. Research and knowledge can help you better meet their short and long-term needs. The better you understand your client, the better positioned you will be to serve them.
- Respect time: Your client's time is valuable, as is your own. Set clear, consistent timelines for meetings and deliverables. Promptly answer phone calls and emails. If you don't have an answer to a question, respond anyway and let the client know you're looking for the answer. Communicate with them if timelines change.
- Provide expertise and share knowledge: Your client may not know or understand the legal details involved in your firm’s work. Explain clearly what will happen and provide a clear timeline for the case. Keep your client informed and manage the process. Use your knowledge to create a smooth and enjoyable experience for your client.
- Be open-minded: Accommodate your client’s needs to the best of your ability and remain open-minded when fielding their suggestions and wishes.
- Stay positive: Keep a positive attitude at all times with your client. If the case experiences challenges or delays, remain positive and solution-driven to give clients confidence in your work. A positive outlook should ease any worries your client has and motivate them to stay positive.
- Provide next steps: As the project progresses, make sure the client always understands what the next step is. It's comforting to know what to expect, so having your own expectations for the next phase of the project can help support clients.
- Exceed expectations: When possible, exceed your client's expectations for service, timeline and delivery. Provide realistic timeframes and work to deliver the product or solution as quickly as you can.
- Seek Feedback: Ask your clients for feedback throughout the transactional process. See if there are ways you can improve communication, processes or procedures for future interactions.
Building positive relationship with your clients earns their trust. You don’t need to rely on gaining new clients to get new projects. Ongoing work with existing clients can keep your project pipeline boosted and lead to new client referrals.
This article was produced by the Support Services team at the Law Society. Find more resources to grow your firm in the Small Practice Business Hub.