I’m not sure who ‘he’ was but it made me think -how could you, a professional lawyer, ruin your own reputation and as a result, turn away potential clients.
Here are just a few ways you might disappoint or frustrate clients and therefore lose out on potential referrals:
1. Slow Responses & Missed Deadlines
No one likes to wait by the phone for a returned call. The same with waiting for something to take place on a specific date, only to have that deadline be totally missed.
If you’re going to be late in responding to a client or if you know there is just no way you will be making a pre-determined deadline, be sure to communicate it as soon as possible. Your client may not be happy, but at least they will be aware of what is going on.
2. Being Unprepared for Appointments
Your clients may wait days, if not weeks, to meet with you – make sure you are (over) prepared! If you appear to be disorganized and less than fully attentive to their situation, they may lose confidence in you and find someone else who will give them the attention you need.
3. Now Following Up When You Promise
If you commit to providing something to a client – either via an in-person appointment, or on the phone, make sure you deliver. Too often you may say “I’ll follow up and provide you with that phone number, or I’ll look for the title of that book and shoot you an email.”, only to completely forget about it and leave your client hanging.
4. Making Excuses or Blame Others
If there’s a breakdown in communication or in delivery of something, don’t make excuses or blame someone in your practice. Whether it’s your ‘fault’ or not doesn’t matter to a client. Take the time to ensure your client is fully looked after and that the problem doesn’t happen again.
5. Not Showing Compassion
Even the smallest issue may be a big deal to your clients. Make sure you respect their stress and other emotions they are experiencing and show compassion. If they feel you don’t care, they won’t open up and build a relationship with you.
These are just a few ways that you may ruin your professional relationship. Remember that people are much quicker to share a negative review with someone than a positive one.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net