The two most important systems in your law practice are your system for engaging new clients, and your system for serving those clients in such a way that they become raving fans.
My last article laid out 7 steps to a great system for for engaging new clients in your law practice. Today’s article will focus on your system for turning those clients into raving fans by keeping the connection with them AFTER they leave your office.
Think about it — once you have engaged your client, collected a check and signed engagement letter, then what?
In most law practices, the client usually ends up feeling as if he or she dropped off into a black hole and wonders what happened.
This is the worst thing that can possibly happen. At best, your client simply forgets your name and doesn’t recommend you when people she knows are looking for a lawyer who practices in your area of the law.
At worst, your client loses confidence in you and bad mouths you around town. Either way, you are not turning your clients into raving fans unless you take deliberate steps.
What you want to do is so WOW your clients that they can’t help but tell everyone they know about you and your services. (And guess what because so few lawyers do ANY of this, it’s really not that hard to WOW your clients.)
Here’s how you do it:
Send an Immediate Email Welcoming Them to Your Firm
The email you send welcoming your new clients to your firm can be automated to go out as soon as you have marked the client as “engaged” in your relationship management database. (The relationship management database is an essential technologically tool for every law practice because it automates and manages your communications with prospects and clients.)
Introduce Them to Your Team (virtually)
After your initial welcome email goes out, you can then send a series of introductory emails over a 2-week period introducing your new clients to the members of your team.
If you do not have in-house team, you can introduce your new client to members of your virtual team. The most important thing is that your new client knows who to call and ask for if they want an update on their matter. And, ideally, that person is not you, but someone on your team who has been well trained to respond to client requests.
Create an Automated Email Follow Up Sequence that Keeps Your Clients Informed Throughout the Process
Keeping your new client informed about the process they are experiencing is key. Otherwise it will feel to them as if they wrote you a hefty check and then fell into chasm of non-communication.
This is one of the primary reasons lawyers get a bad name in the community.
When you send a series of emails that allow your new client to feel informed about the process they are going through and to remind them of who you are and what you are doing to serve them…
Clients feel more involved, prepared and in the loop. It helps them feel more certainty and security about things that can be quite confusing or overwhelming to lay people.
My experience has been that if you keep them in the loop this way, they will refer you every time someone needs a lawyer who does what you do.
Always Schedule the Next Meeting Before They Leave the Office (or You Hang Up)
Whether it’s a phone meeting or face-to-face, book that next point of contact in order to keep the process moving in the mind of the client.
Most lawyers work very well to deadlines, and if this includes you…
Scheduling the next meeting at the end of each prior meeting sets a deadline for yourself, too. This keeps you always working toward the next milestone and gives the client comfort that progress is being made on their matter.
When the Matter is Complete, Send a Gift (Food is the Best)
In our office, when we finished the client’s estate plan or business plan, we delivered a homemade chocolate cake with streamers shooting from the top congratulating them on the birth of their new plan.
Our clients LOVED it! I believe it was the number one thing that turned our clients into raving fans. Sounds silly, right? But it’s true. I think it’s because our clients didn’t necessarily have a good meter to judge the quality of our legal services (not being lawyers themselves, I mean), but they could judge how they felt as a result of the services we provided. And receiving a congratulatory cake felt great to them!
It was an above-and-beyond connection with that specific client that made them feel truly valued and special.
Included with the cake was our business card and a survey. The survey got us testimonials and the business cards got sent out to result in new client referrals. A win all around.
Keep the Connection Alive Ever After (and Offer Them More)
Last, but not least, make sure that you continue to communicate with your clients after their matter is complete. We did this with a weekly email newsletter and a monthly mailed newsletter. These communications went out religiously and resulted in at least 3 new client referrals each month into our office.
You see it keeps you top of mind. You make sure you provide value in your newsletter (see other blogs written about that), so that it’s something they actually read and like and can use…
Meanwhile, maintaining your presence as an asset in their life.
In addition, many of our clients came back for more. They came back for additional services. They came back for our membership program, in which they paid us each and every month for various levels of service.
Why? Because they trusted us and loved us. How many people can say that about their lawyers?
I hope you’ll take what you’ve learned here and hear your clients singing your praises all around town soon.