How do paralegals and paralegal support services improve the lines of communication between your clients and your office? How does that affect client satisfaction?
Communication largely determines the level of client satisfaction. When a paralegal is assigned to a client’s case, the client has the opportunity to build a relationship with someone from your practice. Someone who is always available to them. Someone they can call to find out how things are going. Someone who always knows what’s going on with their case. Someone, if done right, who contacts the client to let them know that “this” was done or that “that” is coming up; a continual connection between the lawyer and their legal matter. Clients who are regularly kept apprised of their case, who don’t have to call to find out what’s going on, and who have a contact they can call who relates to them and their legal issue are the clients who are most satisfied.
Take a moment to think about your favorite vendors. What is it about their goods or services that appeals to you the most? The businesses that leave the most favorable impression with me – the ones I want to give my money to – are the ones that are the most personable; the ones from which I receive the best service.
Here’s a quick example: I received recommendations for two doctors – one who is a provider and one who is a non-provider for insurance purposes. The non-provider is the number one recommended but costs much more out-of-pocket. When I mentioned my predicament to them, they didn’t get cold or defensive or short simply because they thought they weren’t going to get the business. They told me what to consider and what to look for before making my decision and canceling the appointments I already had. As much as I’d like to go to them based on recommendations and my limited experience with them so far, it’s just not within my budget, so I called to cancel. I was pleasantly surprised when they canceled the appointments without getting cold and rude and encouraged me to call back if I needed them for anything in the future.
From my experience with them and other service providers I had contacted, I realized:
- If I had the money, I would go to them in a heartbeat;
- If I ever need those services in the future, they’d be the first I call;
- I would recommend them to others;
- The service providers that changed their tone the moment they sensed they wouldn’t receive a new patient – even if it wasn’t the case – are the providers I won’t spend my money at, even if they do have recommendations.
Lessons to take away:
- If you have a paralegal who communicates regularly with your clients and your clients know that he or she is accessible to them, they’re going to be happy clients. (If the overall experience was positive, a client can still be very satisfied even if the case has a negative outcome);
- If your clients are satisfied, they’re going to pay for your services, even if your services are more expensive than the competition’s;
- If your clients can’t afford it, you’ll be the first they call when they can and between now and then they’ll be referring their friends to you.
Are your clients recommending you?