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Creating Comfortable Clients: 5 tips to Gain Clients’ Trust at Your Firm

One of the fundamental parts of client communication is making them feel comfortable with you, as an attorney. It can be a difficult feat to accomplish, but by putting the client first and making them feel valued – you can make them feel comfortable and gain trust in you as an attorney.

How can one reach this outcome? Let’s go step-by-step:

(1) Your Online Presence is your First Impression

In today’s world, the first place that a client will have a chance to learn about you as a lawyer, will be online. That is why one of the essential steps in creating a comfortable relationship with your client, is having a solid online presence. It is important to feature any notable information or accomplishments on your website or LinkedIn, including any accomplishments, memberships, or publications that you might have. Adding a short biography is also a good idea to help the client get a better understanding of who you are and what you specialize in. Having a well written LinkedIn profile and website that can highlight your skills will separate you from other lawyers and attract clients while making them comfortable within your ability to represent them.

In addition to having a complete online presence, how you communicate with a client online is a big part of how comfortable they will feel with you as an attorney. It is important to be very direct in your email communication to help them navigate the legal world; in terms of when meetings should be held and what they should be expecting. Many clients have a limited understanding of the legal system and the jargon, so being able to effectively explain complex concepts to them in a way that they understand will help establish trust in your relationship. Helping clients understand what to expect will help limit the number of surprises and build trust between the client and yourself.

(2) Effective Non-Verbal Communication

One of the most reassuring things that you can do for a client to make them feel comfortable is to use appropriate nonverbal cues to make them feel comfortable. By using body language that helps calm them down and make them feel reassured, it will make them feel more comfortable with your representation. Some of the specific tips for comforting body language include good posture, consistent eye contact, and appropriate gesturing to show that you are listening to any possible concerns that the client has. Making the client feel valued and heard will help them trust you as an attorney and more comfortable with your skills.

(3) Virtual vs. In-Person Meetings

As most of us know, in-person meetings have been significantly less common since the beginning of the global pandemic, but it is something that can dramatically make a client feel more comfortable with you. Although it is up to the clients’ preference, in-person meetings can help fond that personal connection which can be much harder to accomplish virtually. If a virtual meeting is the only option, it is important to try and maximize that connection by looking professional, maintaining eye contact and non-verbal cues, and being honest with the client.

It is a lot harder to make a personal connection during a Zoom meeting, and for some clients – this can be a bad thing as making a connection with your lawyer is something that will give them confidence in how they are representing you. By pushing for In-Person meetings over virtual ones, it will show the client that you value that personal connection and will help them feel more comfortable with you.

(4) Create a Welcoming Law Firm

When a client walks into your law firm, they should feel as if the firm has something to offer, not that they are just ‘another client’. To help achieve this feeling, it is important to create an environment that highlights this culture within the firm. Some potential ideas to improve the firm culture is to create a waiting area that helps entertain clients and makes them feel at home, or creating a new “client kit” that can help them fell more connected to the firm – potential items that could be included are branded items from the firm, information about the firm and their mission, or even a letter from a partner that helps welcome them to the family.

Another idea to help make the firm feel more welcoming and on the clients’ side is to implement technology that helps demonstrate the firm’s transparency towards the client. Time tracking and billing software allow the client to easily see how much they are being billed and for how much time. When the client feels that they are being not taken advantage of financially, they are more likely to feel comfortable with you and can trust you better. This is a very well-developed practice field at law firms, usually referred to as “Legal Tech” or – “Legal Operations”.

(5) Managing Client Expectations

One of the things that will make a client feel comfortable is how effectively their lawyer can manage the client’s expectations. Although some clients may think that they have a case that they are clearly winning, the law is unpredictable and that may not be true. It is important to be honest with clients about their expectations, as it is irresponsible to promise results prematurely. It is important to help translate the law to them and explain what these concepts mean for somebody who may not have a strong legal understanding. By helping them make sense of their case, it will help them feel more comfortable with the entire situation and you as their attorney.

For conclusion

There are countless tips and tricks to help make a client feel more comfortable in your law firm but starting with implementing the above tips – is a good way to begin. For many people, having to deal with a lawyer is a very uncomfortable thing, so taking the time to make the client feel valued and respected is the most important step in creating a client that is happy, and that will feel comfortable in trusting you.

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