Center For Practice Management, Management, Marketing

Five Ways to Become More Client-Centric

Client-centric legal services focus on the client journey. Your primary objective is to make sure that your client has a great experience with your firm, win or lose. From start to finish, your firm’s processes are centered on the client. Here are five options to enhance your firm’s focus on the client and increase client satisfaction.

1. Ask the Client

Do you send your clients a satisfaction survey at the close of a matter? What about during representation? Asking for feedback from your clients regarding performance not only allows them to vent frustrations directly to you and your team (versus Google) but also helps you learn how to improve. Most often clients complain online (and to the disciplinary board) when feeling neglected or that the communication is inadequate. By asking questions like “are we keeping you up to date on the status of your matter?” and “is our service meeting your expectations?” You can head off complaints and respond to your client’s needs and perceptions.  Once you have received feedback you can ask happy clients to rate you on review sites like Google, Facebook or Avvo.  Choose the platform where you want to have the highest concentration of client reviews, which you can determine by looking at inbound links from Google Analytics or, if you don’t have a website, where you get the most reviews. Send them a link and encourage them to review your services. It works!

2. Use a Script

Customer service departments use scripts for answering calls and emails, so they are consistent in their approach to customer communications. Scripts are also useful for making sure the right questions are asked and recorded. You can set up a system, like a Microsoft List, to track issues. You can create email templates for consistent responses. For clauses for MS Outlook across a team, the Ablebits add on, Shared Email Templates, has a lot of excellent features for firms and starts at $3 per user after a 60-day free trial. You can also develop scripts for Out of Office voicemails and emails. These scripts can also become the basis for AI chatbots on your website.

3. Make It Easy for Your Clients

What services do you use that make it easy to move past the administrative? Like OpenTable for booking restaurants, or apps to track the dishwasher repair person, or choosing a time to get an estimate for tree removal? Think about how these conveniences make a difference in your experience. There are many tools law firms can use to make it easier for clients to submit documents, book appointments, and more.  Reduce friction and frustration so the representation is the focus. Set up a client portal, use digital signature tools, use web and phone friendly forms, or deploy a chat bot. You will always have clients who eschew technology but there will be many who appreciate the secure self-service options.

4. Create A Client Journey Map

Have you ever thought about the entire experience of your typical client from a matter workflow perspective? How does the client find you? How do they engage you? How do you communicate though out the matter? A client journey map will help you see through the eyes of a client and help you identify where you can improve with a focus on their experience. If you consider what makes a great hotel different from a modest hotel, think about what differentiates one from another. Do you stay in an exceptional hotel, despite price, because of perks and customer centric service? A client journey map is a visual storyline of every engagement a client has with a service, brand, or product. This is a tool used by hundreds of businesses. Law firms can use a client journey map as part of a design thinking process to improve and innovate for success.

5. Be Responsive

Clients who feel neglected are more likely to complain to the disciplinary authority or sue a firm. Create a system that lets your firm be responsive. If you provide a way for a client to communicate with you – text, fax, email, letter, phone – be ready to be able to respond promptly. Even better, prepare proactive communication. At the beginning of the representation discuss how and when you will communicate. Make sure that you focus on their convenience, while balancing your workload. Provide timelines, deadlines, tasks, and status reports so the client feels well informed.


Client centric service can be a distinct differentiator for law firms. It has been a focus in books such as The Client-Centered Law Firm and Design Your Law Practice: Using Design Thinking to Get Next Level Results. Even a minor change can make a significant difference.