Why You Should Be Flexible With Client Services
May 23, 2019 02:18 PM EDT
While doing business is to be expected, there is a right and a wrong way to go about it. Clients are people too, and it's a lesson that many lawyers fail to realize when they're considering the cost of doing business or the case in question.
Returning Humanity to the Legal Profession
The American Bar Association accurately states that the law isn't just a system of substantive and procedural law, but rather a deeply interwoven system of interactions between individuals. The burden of representing a client rests squarely on the shoulders of the lawyer, and sometimes the business aspect of the legal profession overcomes the human consideration that lawyers have for their client.
By entering into business with a lawyer, a client is giving their trust to the professional in such a way that he or she doesn't expect to be left at the mercy of their own actions. Over time, depending on the case in question, this bond will grow and the client will have renewed trust in the professional. This trust is all too easy to lose in a single moment of putting the business in front of the client's best interests.
Communication Between Client and Lawyer
Despite the legal profession being one where there is a heavy dependency on reading and writing, a few lawyers never master the art of communicating with their client correctly. The Law Society of New Zealand notes that interpersonal skills are of massive importance for lawyers, and tend to be the opposite of the skills they cultivate when practicing the technical aspects of law. Being aware of the difference in approach is crucial to helping a client be on the same page as you are.
Because lawyers deal with clients daily and take a lot of information for granted, it can be difficult for them to step back and understand when a client doesn't understand what's being said to them. By being more mindful of their clients' shortcomings in the nuances of the law and the business of practice, a lawyer can avoid a lot of awkward situations, as well as maintain that trust the client already has for their lawyer.
Defusing Situations is a Necessity
In the legal profession, situations arise where a lawyer needs to depend upon his or her ability to defuse a situation. This isn't something that is learned in law school, nor is it something that lawyers are born with. If anything, these sorts of jobs, which you can see more here, require skills that are more likely to be present in a hostage negotiator.
Despite this, a lawyer must understand his or her clients' needs and motivations to determine why they are in the situation they are and how to calm them down. The Canadian Bar Association mentions that clients are sometimes overwhelmed by their emotional states which then leads to clouded judgment. In these cases, knowing how to deal with clients that are acting out while still maintaining that trust is tricky, but not impossible.
Treating Clients like People
Industries around the world have realized that the best way to retain clientele is to treat them well. Clients that feel welcomed are more likely to bring return business to a company. The legal profession should also be mindful of that, not only because of the potential for long-term returns but because of the trust and relationships that are built with long-term clients.
Being more of a personable lawyer might not make you the most lucrative practitioner of the law, but it will make you one that your clients will recommend to all of the people they know. Marketing researchers have known that this type of marketing (called organic marketing) is among the most effective ways to build a business.
Lawyers do have to make a profit, but they don't need to act as though they're a faceless corporation. People, after all, tend to trust other people more than corporations.