In today’s business world, excellent communication is the key to maintaining a positive relationship with your clients and fellow attorneys. Failure to communicate effectively can only bring your firm down and drive your clients to your competitors. When communicating with your clients, both potential and current, it is important to remember these tips:
Be professional, but not too professional
Of course professionalism is important, and you want to appear professional to any client that walks through your door, but maintaining an attorney-client relationship is more than that. Even if you are discussing the same topic with fellow lawyers as you are with your clients, the way you communicate the subject matter in each circle should be different.
While your clients appreciate your expertise and knowledge in the legal world, hearing everything explained in complicated jargon can put a wedge between you and your client. Learn your client’s language and make sure that you communicate with them in terms that they are comfortable with and can understand clearly.
Become more “client-aware”
Getting to know your clients on a more personal level outside the walls of your law firm can help you maintain a better lawyer-client relationship. Every client wants to feel important, by improving your listening skills and understanding his or her background to better gauge their goals and perspectives, you can make your client feel valued.
Learn your client’s story so that you can provide clear, empathetic, and concise legal counsel and remember, it’s okay to forget the legalese every once in a while and be human with your clients instead.
Practice professional etiquette
Be conscious and careful about what you say online. Because email messages and social media updates can often be misinterpreted by your clients and colleagues, you must always make sure your intentions are clear. And in turn, give your clients and colleagues the benefit of the doubt if their tone is unclear. Additionally, don’t use online communication as an easy way out. Anything you say online should be something that you are comfortable saying offline too.