Realize that most of the tips that you will receive on client relations
are common sense and not rocket science.
- The most important tip to remember is that good
client service starts with good client selection.
- Develop good client intake procedures.
- Do not take clients outside your area of expertise.
- Send non-engagement letters to any potential client
you do not take.
- Do not over-promise. If you cannot deliver on
something you promised, contact the client immediately, beg for
forgiveness and make certain you never over-promise with this client
ever again. Clients are more likely to remember the promises you did
not keep than those that you did.
- ALWAYS tell your client the truth if you make a
mistake. Tell the client as soon as you know a mistake has been
made. Most clients will forgive a mistake. They will not as easily
forgive trying to hide a mistake.
- Stay on top of technology. Clients want to know that
your firm (even if you are a solo) is one of the best and
understanding and using technology can give you that edge. If you
are not on top of technology, do not "brag" to clients
that you are a techno-dinosaur.
- Make certain that your work is timely and you keep
clients informed about all developments.
- Never give clients the impression that you are too
busy to answer their calls or complete their work.
- Develop your fee collection policies, put them in
writing and give a copy to new (and existing) clients.
- Discuss your fees and collection policy at the first
- Introduce your clients to your staff if you are in a
small firm and to your assistant and others in your department if
you are in a large firm. Often these staff will have a great deal of
contact with your clients.
- Make certain that your staff understands that they
contribute to the success of the practice. Regardless of how many
people you have in your firm, the interaction your clients, or
potential clients, have with your support staff or associates is
just as important as the contact they have with you. Every person in
your firm should be an asset to the practice.
- Every employee, regardless of how many or how few,
should have the same enthusiasm for helping clients as you do.
- Contact clients regularly. Don't allow the only
contact you have with a client be about some type of problem.
- Begin to call at least one client a week just to see
how things are going. Keep the call brief, tell them the reason you
are calling, and let them know you are there when they need you.
- Always return your phone calls within 24 hours. If
you can't personally return them, have someone else return them.
- Keep your staff informed. If you expect your staff to
contribute to your success, and you should, then it is important
that you keep them informed about clients and your commitment to
providing the best service possible.
- Never make clients wait longer than five minutes to
see you. Their time is just as valuable as yours.
- Bill monthly and with detail. Show that there was
effort in the work you performed. Consider writing a short note on
- Write a little "no-activity" note to
clients whose matter had not been worked on in 90 days.
- It is important to communicate with clients
regularly. Send clients copies of all correspondence related to
- Call at least one client a week for no reason other
than to touch base. Do not charge for the call and let them know
that you are not charging for the call.
- Be available. Let your clients know that you will
call them at home if you will be out all day. If you work on the
weekends, you may want to set some time to talk with clients. You
have to make a decision as to whether or not you want to allow
clients to call you at home. This is a very personal decision. You
might want to have a separate line installed at home that will be
just for clients to contact you during "nonbusiness"
- Always say thank you.
- Ask your clients what they think of your work, your
firm, your service.