6 Ways You’re Creating a “One & Done” Client
I’m sure you’ve heard that the most expensive client you can have is the “one and done” — the person who only does business with you one time. While there are some practice areas that typically have this kind of client — criminal law, personal injury — many attorneys can benefit greatly from having repeat business from former clients and/or turn those clients into good referral sources.
If you find that your firm is suffering from the “one and done” syndrome and want to do something about it, consider these six ways you may be the author of your own problem:
You fail to set expectations. Most relationships with clients that go south do so because of unmet expectations. Be realistic about the services you provide and the outcome they can expect, and do it up-front.
You ignore clients after they become clients. You don’t mean to ignore them, but you’re busy and time slips by. If you had a process in place for communicating with them regularly, this wouldn’t be a problem.
You talk over their heads. Some attorneys have a very bad habit of making clients feel stupid by using too many legal terms in conversation. Stay on your client’s level and always make sure they understood what you are trying to communicate.
You don’t respond. When clients need you, they don’t like to keep leaving voicemail messages — worse still is a full voicemail box. Offer your cell phone number or a way they can reach you when they need you.
You don’t listen. Most clients just want to be heard, especially by their own attorneys. This takes time on your part, and an effort to understand their point of pain and how to alleviate it.
You hand them off. Is the only time a client ever sees you when they are ready to sign on the dotted line? If you only make an appearance when money is on the table and then hand clients off to junior associates, you have just created a major disconnect in the loyalty chain.