Authored by: Iris Garrett
We’ve all heard the saying, “Relationships are built on trust,” and from experience, many of us have found it to be true. Whether it’s a business or personal relationship, there has to be some level of mutual trust for things to work properly between all involved. For attorney-client relationships, this is even more critical. Contingent-fee attorneys take on cases without asking anything of their current and potential clients upfront, but those same clients must also trust in the attorney’s abilities to guide them through their case, fight for it and win.
Even if you have built up the pivotal trust that is needed between you and your clients, keeping it intact may not be all that easy. In an article in Above the Law, Jane Oxley writes that a lack of transparency can be the single, most powerful way to ruin the relationships you’ve built, but by increasing it, you can also increase the level of trust you have with the people who come through your office. Oxley has several tips that can help you increase law firm transparency, and we’ve listed a few of them below.
Clear Policies – Oxley says to make sure your clients understand policies regarding everything from face-to-face meetings to final payments and billing. She says having clear policies that are communicated on the front end and in a language anyone can understand is key to building trust and transparency.
Admit Mistakes – Oxyley says clients will respect you more if you’re willing to admit when you’ve made a mistake. She says your willingness to address the error and correct it goes a long way in creating trust and being transparent.
Announce Changes – Oxley says letting your clients know beforehand when you’re planning to make any changes in how you do business will assure them that you’re looking out for their best interests.
Be Generous – Oxley says a willing to share your knowledge, like writing informative blogs or contributing to popular discussions in the legal field, will increase the trust your clients have in your skill and competency. She also says sharing knowledge won’t make them want your expertise any less.
Take Feedback – Oxley says asking your clients for feedback builds trust and transparency because it gives them a chance to point out weak spots in your service. She says it also gives them a chance to witness you make changes based on their feedback.
So, if you’re hoping to maintain the solid relationships you’ve built with your clients and form more solid relationships with potential new clients, you would do well to keep your practice as transparent as possible. Oxley says the more people know about you and your business, the more they will trust you can deliver the legal services they need.
To read Oxley’s full article, click here.
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