Client service – an update and different perspective

Carolyn, in response to my comment about client responsiveness, suggests that fast response is not always possible. I agree.

There are some options, however, that one can apply to achieve a similar result. First, if you are busy and employ one or more staff, have the staff person set up an appointment for you when you will be available. That might be later that day, in the evening or the following day. The fact that the client knows you will call at a time certain is most often sufficient.

Studies have shown that most calls are process calls, calls that the staff person can answer. So much the better! Thus, you, the lawyer, have to deal with only 20% of the calls anyway … and can call the client back when you’re available.

If you’re a true solo and have no one to set up such an appointment, you must find a way to manage the clients expectations. Do this in the first intake session with the client. Tell the client that if you don’t answer the phone or return the call within two hours (or something of this nature), it’s because you are in court or otherwise just unable to respond. But, have no fear, you will call in the evening or early morning, depending on the client’s preference. Managing the clients expectations from the very beginning will avoid disappointment and anger by the client.


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