WHY CAN'T I GET IN TOUCH WITH MY LAWYER? - It doesn't have to be this way.
The most frequent complaint that people have with their lawyer, relates to poor communication. Some of these concerns are that the lawyer doesn't return calls, they can't get past the receptionist, they only talk to staff, emails don't get returned, and they don't know what is happening with their case. Of course, attorneys are busy people, but this does not entirely explain poor communication, especially in field that relies upon communication. I think that basic reason for this all to common failure is that many attorneys fail to realize that we work in a customer service driven field. Sure there are important tasks that need to be done everyday and sometimes all day, but one of the most important tasks is customer service.
In order to keep myself from being one of those vanishing attorneys that you can never reach, I have my telephone ring right at my desk. Of course, this makes it harder to screen calls from telemarketers, but it makes it easy for the client to get me on the telephone without a middle-man. I also commit to returning client voice mail messages within two hours of receipt - my telephone system even sends me an email day and night with a computer file of the voice mail message. If my staff cannot address a client concern or question, I ask them to transfer the call directly to me. I communicate with clients by email and even on Facebook messaging; this seems to be easier for clients that work odd hours or can't get on the phone. I send periodic status updates by email, mail or telephone, but I also give clients an open door to call or email me whenever the would like an update. If we can ever do a better job of communicating, I ask my personal injury clients to help us improve by letting us know.
Jay Ciulla is a Phoenix personal injury lawyer who answers his own phone. Call 602 495 0053 for a free consultation.
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