Client retention best practices: The case for attorney responsiveness

The current 24/7, online review culture means that attention spans are often short, while expectations are higher than ever. Though responding quickly to existing and potential attorney clients is vital, responding well directly shapes client perception, retention, and likelihood of referring others. 

“Clients are in a world now of instant responses and instant information and they want real information before they even hire.” – Maria Shinn, Shinn Law Firm

Who doesn’t love services like streaming television, Lyft, DoorDash, GrubHub and the like? But on-demand services create an expectation for all industries to increase availability and responsiveness. CLIO reports that 45% of legal clients expect a response within 24 hours, 24% within a few hours, and 10% within 1 hour.

“People call you after they’ve had an accident of some sort and if you don’t answer the phone, or if you don’t give them a sense that you’re going to return their calls very quickly, they’re going to move on to one of the plethora of attorneys competing for your business.” – Neil Tyra, The Tyra Law Group

But speed isn’t enough. The quality and tone of information and response plays a key role in client retention and decision making. Statistics in that same CLIO report show that 64% of clients make decisions based on the affability of a lawyer, as well as their tone. At the same time, 66% of consumers say that instant, on-demand engagement is a critical decision making factor for purchase. Generating timely, meaningful responses is paramount for a growing bottom line.

“Our clients should feel comfortable communicating with us frequently. They come back to us months, even years later to ask us questions and advice… We run our firm like a business. In today’s day and age, I think businesses have to be responsive to customers, even lawyers. Lawyers, doctors, everybody.” – Somita Basu, Norton Basu

Clients report that clarity and usable information from legal representatives can be hard to come by. 62% of clients didn’t receive any indication about what to do next and 61% report not receiving information they could understand. At the same time, 42% of clients report that if they like the first lawyer they speak to, they won’t speak to any others. This means being on your communication game can make all the difference toward securing new clients, retaining existing ones, and increasing billable hours.

“As a small business owner, having Ruby answer my calls live has been the best thing for my business. They provide excellent service, the app works really well, and their communication is spot on. They are dedicated to your clients having the best experience possible.” – John Chang, Patinelli & Chang

While many attorneys are naturally gifted at first impression communications and always leading with patience and empathy, competing business needs can leave anyone feeling pulled in several directions and off their communication game from time to time. Add in busy schedules and the need to maximize billable hours and suddenly picking up the phone every time it rings can feel like an impossibility.

That’s where Ruby comes in. Our business is your business. We represent you in a warm and polished way by employing tone and language specifically tailored to your practice. Our receptionists are trained to utilize empathy and understanding with callers who might be going through stressful and remarkable experiences, such as legal clients. 

Download our Attorney ebook to learn more about how Ruby is the top client ambassador for attorneys.

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