Between the long hours, constant deadlines, changing laws, billing pressures, and firm demands, attorneys have one of the most stressful jobs out there. And we can’t forget about anxious and demanding clients tipping the stress levels well into the danger zone.
At DLE Court Reporters, we know that the long hours are the nature of the industry, and while we’re all experts at managing deadlines, those will never go away. But what if we could reduce that stress with a few simple changes in our client relationships? Our team has assembled our favorite tips to improving our interactions with our clients, and we’re always happy to share them.
- Get to know your client. Develop a client questionnaire with wide-ranging topics to discover details about them that could possibly add to their case. Think life history plus career path with lots of space for long-form answers about personal accomplishments as well as life low points. The more information you know about your clients without spending lots of billable hours gathering it, the more time and money you can save for all involved. Trust us: Your clients will appreciate it.
- Keep them involved. Regular communication and copies of everything make your clients feel connected to the process, rather than worried that their case is being ignored.
- Treat them like they’re your only client. Although you may have many clients at one time, it’s important to make each one feel that their case is your most important.
- Acknowledge their stress. For many clients, the case is just the tip of their stress iceberg. Issues like unpaid bills and interrupted utility service, a job loss, or even a break-up are all by-products of focusing all their attention on their case. Warn them about these extra problems before they become…problems.
Above all, choose your clients carefully. Ask if they’ve worked with other attorneys prior to contacting your firm and check on unpaid bills in their legal past. Also, consider charging an initial consultation fee to dissuade attorney window-shoppers. This sends a clear message that you take your client selection seriously and sets the tone that this will be a professional business relationship from the start.