Client Service Strategies for Paralegals

By Javier Morelos Hersh FamilyLaw Practice

When working directly with clients, it is important to develop and maintain client service strategies to ensure their satisfaction with your firm.

Achieving client satisfaction through client service does not require an expensive program or subscription. It’s free and can be utilized by paralegals at small and large firms alike. Below are some guidelines on how to achieve your clients’ satisfaction.

Hear your clients’ story
Paralegals are often the first point of contact for clients with the firm. Take time to listen to your potential client’s dilemma and ask relevant questions to gather the information you need for the initial intake, per your firm’s guidelines. Keep in mind that some clients may be hesitant when contacting a law office. Be professional, personable, and patient. There may be nuggets of information vital to your client’s case that s/he will relay to you but later forget to tell the attorney. Oftentimes, a client just needs someone to listen.

Gauge Your Clients’ Needs
In order to develop a client service strategy, it is important to gauge your clients’ communication needs. An anxious client might require frequent updates, while a “laid-back” client may not. Update your clients to the frequency and method of communication you and your attorneys have determined their case may require. This will help them feel taken care of.

Communicating With Your Client
While emailing clients with updates is the preferred method of many firms, a phone call will always be more appreciated, especially before delivering correspondence or documents that may have an emotional impact on their well-being. On occasion, a house call may be warranted to obtain key information or documents from your client (with attorney approval, of course). Clients will appreciate this gesture and level of service.

Instant Recall: Key Facts and Information
Another very important aspect of excellent client service is the retention of key case facts and “players.” Remembering and instantly recalling your clients’ children’s names, important dates, or other case-related information will help them to feel their case is important to you and your firm. This small gesture will help build rapport with your client and meet their need to matter; they are not “just another client.”

Immediately report to your attorney any client dissatisfaction or issues you are having trouble tackling or do not have the authority to comment on. This will help manage your clients’ anxiety and, possibly, the direction of the case.

The Big “Why”?
A successful office thrives on the satisfaction of its clients. You, as the paralegal, play a big role in that satisfaction. Engaging in good “customer service” practices will satisfy your clients’ needs, and will also keep your attorney satisfied. Delivering excellent client service will also make you an indispensable member of your team. Keeping these tips in mind when communicating with clients will remind them why they chose to retain your firm in the first place.

 

Javier Morelos is client liaison and senior paralegal at Hersh FamilyLaw Practice, P.C., and Secretary of the Executive Committee of BASF’s Paralegal Section. Please contact him at jmorelos@hflp.com.