Do you find monthly invoicing cringeworthy? Wondering if as soon as they get the bill, your clients will be ticked off ... maybe even dispute it?
Very few lawyers have 100 percent collections (like I did, once I figured a few things out), and there’s a good reason why.
Every Law Firm Has Two Choices
When it comes to your clients, you have two choices. You can be proactive and understand what your clients think of you and the experience they’re having (and get your bill paid, every time).
Or you can be an ostrich.
You can put your head in the sand, never knowing if you’re about to step on a landmine. You don’t want to hear the bad news, so you choose not to ask.
Most practices choose the second option by default - because they never think about the client’s experience. Instead, they have a laser focus on the technical practice of the law. They’re afraid a client’s rough experience with a matter will reflect negatively on the lawyer, even as they ignore what will ultimately win that client’s loyalty.
Here's the first thing to realize:
Simply Asking Elevates Your Value
Early on in my practice, I didn’t want to ask clients what they thought of my service. And I definitely didn’t do it regularly.
I did ask once, later down the line. And what I heard was eye-opening. Her experience absolutely wasn't what I thought it was. She wasn't happy. I thought she was, because I was doing a great job for her (technically). But that wasn't how she saw it.
Here’s the secret.
The mere act of asking a client how you’re doing changes their perception of you and your services. It shows you care, and you value what they think.
If the client has something negative to say, what they say about you to other people (read: potential referrals) will be vastly different than if you haven't shown you care. Even if you ask for feedback, listen to the response, and do nothing about it, you’re already in a better place.
And if you actually act upon a client’s feedback and improve your overall client experience?
Boom! More referrals.
For lawyers, client loyalty is our best friend. And our primary revenue driver.
The most important thing? Stop hiding from the question, because the legal result you deliver isn’t the most important factor in defining a client’s experience. It's earning their loyalty with a real-world interaction.
Clients care more about whether you were their partner in finding the best solution.
That means talking to them, not hiding from them.