The Attorney Panic Button’s™ TOP 20 Paralegal Guidelines For Client Communication
Whether you retain the services of a virtual paralegal or your law practice employs a traditional paralegal it is extremely important that you train, educate, and set Client Contact Guidelines for your paralegal and other support staff to follow when they are tasked with dealing with difficult clients. After all, it is a paralegal’s primary function to help you build, nurture, and maintain a happy, positive, and productive rapport with clients.
Here are Best Virtual Paralegal’s essential guidelines for establishing, nurturing, and inspiring a positive rapport with difficult clients:
1. Be professional, but warm, friendly, and approachable at all times.
2. Give the client 100 % of your attention during the contact.
3. Remember ethical considerations— start the conversation off by explaining a paralegal’s role to the client.
4. Explain the client’s role to him/her. Tell the client what the firm expects from him/her.
5. Set an excellent team tone for the firm. Let the client know you are his/her team leader/cheerleader.
6. Be considerate of the client’s time, convenience, and emotions.
7. Follow-up on the client’s requests the same day the request is received within business hours.
8. Be fully prepared before each phone call, meeting, or contact with the client.
9. Return the client’s phone calls and emails promptly. Even if there is nothing to report to the client because you’re waiting on something from the attorney or other parties. Touch base with the client anyway.
10. Be mindful of the client’s apprehension and concerns.
11. Help the client keep track of the main case issues.
12. Educate the client on the litigation/matter process.
13. Maintain contact with the client on a regular basis; even if there is no activity on the file.
14. Learn the client’s personality/body language and respond accordingly/warm/friendly.
15. Ask permission to record interviews – explain to the client the benefits of recording all interviews.
16. Be responsive and accessible to the client.
17. Empathize; do not sympathize or patronize the client.
18. Turn off all phones, IMs, and instant chat applications.
19. Avoid making any assumptions. Ask-Clarifying-Probing Questions.
20. LISTEN — LOOK— LEAN IN – EXPRESS GRATITUDE for the client’s efforts.
Effective communication guidelines are the cornerstone of a great law practice. Attorneys and paralegals who build, nurture, and maintain a happy, positive, and productive rapport with clients have happy clients – even the most DIFFICULT CLIENT can be nurtured into a happy client.
Does your law practice need a client communication adjustment? Best Virtual Paralegal, LLC can help your law practice with everything from setting up effective guidelines to help your staff or we can assist you with returning calls, text messages, and more! Contact us today!