Keeping clients informed for solicitors

Keeping Clients Informed and Engaged In Your Law Firm

We live in a world where instant communication is the new standard, and this is especially true for the legal profession as solicitors must master the art of keeping clients informed and engaged at all times. Solicitors and law firms know all too well that an informed client is a happier, more cooperative client. However, this is easier said than done given the heavy workload, mounting deadlines and added responsibilities faced by the solicitors of today.

Here we explore effective strategies to enhance client communication and engagement, fostering a relationship built on trust and transparency.

The importance of keeping clients informed

Keeping clients up to speed on the progress of their own case is not just a courtesy; it’s a fundamental aspect of legal practice that significantly impacts client satisfaction and the success of a law firm. Here are several reasons why this practice is crucial:

  • Trust and Transparency: Regular and open communication fosters a relationship based on trust. Clients who are kept in the loop are more likely to trust their solicitors and feel that their case is being handled with the attention it deserves.
  • Client Retention: Satisfied clients are more likely to return for future legal needs and refer others to your firm. Informed clients feel valued and understood, which enhances their overall satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Helps to Avoid Misunderstandings: For many clients, understanding the legal jargon is a huge stumbling block, so a miscommunication can easily occur. Effective communication minimizes the risk of misunderstandings and errors. When clients are well-informed about the processes and potential outcomes, they are more likely to have realistic expectations and less likely to feel disappointed or surprised.
  • Compliance and Ethical Responsibility: From a regulatory perspective, solicitors have an ethical obligation in keeping their clients informed. This ensures compliance with legal standards and helps avoid potential legal disputes or grievances related to miscommunication.
  • Empowered Decision-Making: Informed clients are better equipped to make decisions regarding their legal issues. When clients have a greater understanding of how their case is progressing, they can contribute more effectively to the strategy and decisions. All in all, this leads to an outcome that is more aligned with their expectations, which naturally is a win-win for both the solicitor and the client.

Strategies for keeping clients engaged

 
Embrace Proactive Communication

Being proactive when keeping clients informed

A common phrase in the business world is “be proactive, not reactive” and this certainly rings true for effective solicitor/client relationships. In fact, according to a recent report by the LRSA, poor communication was very much at the heart of the majority of complaints.

Rather than waiting for clients to reach out with questions or concerns, law firms should take the initiative to communicate regularly. This proactive approach not only keeps clients informed but also demonstrates your firm’s dedication to their case and well-being.

  • Set Clear Communication Expectations: At the outset of your relationship, clarify how often clients should expect updates and through which mediums (e.g., email, phone calls, or client portals).
  • Regular Updates: While we have all heard that no news is good news at some point in our lives, there are situations when it’s still reassuring have some form of contact. Even when there are no major developments, updating clients on the ongoing efforts or any minor advancements can make a significant difference in their perception of your service. 
Utilise Technology to Enhance Accessibility

Solicitors simply can’t ignore the role that technology now plays a crucial role in modern client communication. Implementing the right tools can provide your clients with constant access to information and make interactions smoother.

  • Client Portals: These secure online spaces allow clients to view case documents, updates, and billing information at their convenience, thus enhancing transparency and accessibility.
  • Mobile Communication Apps: With the rise of smartphones, using mobile apps for client communication can significantly increase engagement, allowing clients to receive and send information on the go. However, the negative side of smartphone technology is the potential for solicitors to fall into a trap of being contactable 24/7. This can lead to a breakdown of boundaries, and ultimately an unhealthy relationship client/solicitor dynamic. So it’s important to respond within the timeframe of normal working hours where possible.
Personalise Client Interactions

Keeping clients informed through video calls

Each and every client is unique and will have different needs. Understanding and addressing individual client preferences can significantly boost engagement and satisfaction. Taking a more personalised communication approach can show clients that your firm values their unique needs and preferences.

  • Adjust Communication Style to Client Preferences: Some clients may prefer detailed legal jargon while others might appreciate simpler, more concise explanations.
  • Interactive Meetings: Whether virtual or in-person, interactive meetings can help in addressing client concerns more effectively and make them feel valued. When choosing video conferencing however, it’s important to ensure the quality of the interaction matches that of an in-person meeting. You’ll find some handy tips on video communication here.
  • Resource Sharing: Providing clients with access to articles, FAQs, and videos relevant to their cases can help demystify complex legal processes.
Feedback is Golden

Encouraging and acting on client feedback is essential for any service-oriented business. Feedback not only helps in improving services but also makes clients feel involved and valued.

  • Surveys and Feedback Forms: Regularly ask for feedback through digital surveys or feedback forms. This shows clients that you are committed to continuous improvement. There’s plenty of ways you can ask for client testimonials as you’ll discover here.
  • Implement Changes Based on Feedback: Asking for feedback is a waste of both your time and your client’s time if it’s not put to good use. Demonstrating that client suggestions have been implemented can help to build trust and encourage an open communication channel.
Keeping Clients Informed through Social media

Keeping clients informed through social media

Social media is an increasingly vital tool for any business, particularly a client based one such as legal services. Platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook allow solicitors to share timely updates, legal insights, and firm news with a broad audience. This use of social media serves several purposes:

  • Immediate Updates: The laws in Ireland are constantly changing, so the public are relying on their solicitor to keep them up to speed on the latest developments. Social media offers an ideal space for sharing updates on the legal world, changes in legislation, or firm news that could impact clients.
  • Enhancing Visibility: Regular posts on social media platforms increase the visibility of your law firm, keeping it fresh in the minds of existing and potential clients. And it demonstrates the level of expertise held by your team.
  • Engagement and Interaction: According to a recent survey, 54% of consumers would be more likely to enlist the services of solicitor who is active on social media. A social media platform offers a two-way communication channel where clients can engage with content through comments, likes, and shares. This interaction not only keeps clients informed but also builds helps to familiarise new and existing clients with the team in your firm.  
  • Educational Content: By posting informative content, infographics, and articles, law firms can educate their clients about legal processes, thus demystifying complex legal terms and procedures.
  • Feedback and Insights: Social media can be a valuable source of client feedback and market insight. Observing client interactions and responses to posts can help firms tailor their services and communication strategies more effectively.

 

“Informed Clients are better clients, and they make for better design”

Keeping clients informed and engaged is not just about regular updates, but also about building a relationship where clients feel valued and understood. Put yourself into your client’s shoes and try to imagine that feeling of being anxious waiting for an update on your case, be it the purchase of your first home or reaching a resolution in a family dispute.

Remember, an informed client is an engaged client. By adopting these approaches, solicitors can ensure that their clients are not just well-informed but are active participants in their legal journeys.

Learn more about how to avoid complaints from clients through our webinars

Despite your best efforts, client complaints can still arise. If you’d like to know about how to effectively avoid and manage complaints with clients, check out our webinar Managing Complaints in The New Era of the LSRA. In this webinar, we discuss how colleagues should go about navigating the current complaints landscape. You can purchase this webinar and many more on demand here

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