Being a lawyer can be a tough job. You help people through hard times, and all too often have to be the bearer of bad news. But every now and again, you’ll have a client that really likes you, and the work you’ve done for them. They might want to hug you, or send you cards. So what do you do with all those client thank you notes.
On top of my bookshelf, just over my shoulder, I have a handful of client thank you notes and cards on display. It’s not to impress potential customers – they don’t usually even come into my office. It’s for me. It’s to remind me why I do the job.
Personal gratification is certainly one reason to hold on to client thank you notes, but it’s far from the only one. Rather than letting those cards collect dust, put them to work for you to help build a better practice.
Internal Quality Control
When you get a thank you note from a client, ask yourself, “What made this client happy?” Did you get them an especially large settlement? Were you kind and courteous? Did you meet their needs? Did you give them respect?
There are a lot of things attorneys can do right for their clients. Take the time to single out what made that client happy enough to buy you a card or write you a letter. Then, make that part of your ongoing policies and strategies.
If your client shows you love, send some back to them. Thank them for the thoughtful card. Maybe include a small gift. Then ask if you can use their kind words on your website. Client testimonials are a great way to give your firm immediate credibility. If your client has already written you a note, there’s nothing more they have to do. You can use their words directly – either anonymously or with partial attribution (many lawyers use initials or first names only). By featuring client testimonials prominently on your website, you can show you are proud of the work you do, and that your clients appreciate it.
When you have a particularly supportive client, you may be able to ask them to go that extra mile for you by writing an online review. If you do, be specific about where you would like it:
- Google (which allows customer reviews right on their search page)
- Facebook or other social media sites
- Avvo.com or other attorney database sites; or
- Yelp or other consumer sites.
Choose the locations you are already targeting with your advertising, so they will make the most difference. Focus on where your clients are already coming from, or use customer reviews to build a presence on a new platform.
No matter where you ask for reviews, make it as easy for the client as possible. Provide detailed instructions with links to the review url. Offer sample language. You can even offer to have a staff member or your marketing firm walk your client through the process, so they won’t get lost or frustrated.
If used correctly, a thank you card can be a very valuable gift from some of your best customers. By being smart about what you do with client thank you notes, you can increase your credibility and drive more business through your door.
Lisa Schmidt is a writer for Legal Linguist. She provides blogging and web content services to law firms and small businesses. If you need help rewriting your website to feature client testimonials, contact Legal Linguist today.