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The Key to Achieving Explosive Growth: Increasing Client Referrals

If your law practice relies on referrals from past and/or existing clients, a bad customer experience can be devastating to your bottom line. Your marketing brings the clientele in initially, but it’s referrals from these clients that can act as a huge magnifier to the number of new cases that come in your door every year.

If the number of client referrals you are getting is falling short of expectations, or you want to increase the number you’re getting, you need to make sure that you are meeting client expectations. In other words, the experience they get from the services you provide to them should be consistent with, if not better than, the experience they had with the marketing that brought them in the door initially.

These clients may have been very impressed with your website content, social media campaigns, and other marketing, but then felt disappointed with how they were treated or their case was handled after they hired you. This could cause them to feel let down, or worse, misled.

This could, in turn, keep them from recommending you when their friends and family are looking for a lawyer. This can slowly eat away your ROI and the effectiveness of your marketing overtime.

But what can you do to ensure that doesn’t happen?

Check Your Law Firm Reviews

You should be regularly asking for, and getting, reviews from your clients (or indeed anyone that has any contact with your firm, even if it was only an initial consultation). But you should not only be getting them, but also reviewing them and responding to them.

This will allow you to do more of what’s working and fix what isn’t. They might say that you took too long to respond to their inquiries, or didn’t explain what was happening in their case on a frequent enough basis or in language that they understood. Take advantage of this opportunity and feedback, and use it to improve your systems.

Conduct Exit Interviews

Just like what you would do with a an employee who is leaving, conduct an exit interview with a client upon completion of their case. You can do this or assign it to a paralegal. Make this a regular part of the handling of any legal matter. Develop a script for that exit interview to ensure consistency in the question you’re asking and the information you’re seeking from the client.

You can do this in many ways, including an online survey, comment cards, or a paper form. But the best results are obtained from an in person interview, as they are already in your office, and you can ask follow-up questions.

Do a Periodic System Review

You should have well established systems and procedures in your practice to ensure consistency and quality in the way those services are delivered. That said, you should conduct periodic review of those systems to make sure that they are working as they should.

Are your employees following those procedures? Can they be improved upon buy an investment in more up-to-date, technology, both in hardware and software? All the information that you glean from the client reviews and exit interviews can also be used to see what can be improved in your current systems.

By continually and consistently taking these steps, you will significantly increase the likelihood of more and better referrals from prior and current clients.

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Steve Richardson

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