Attorneys who participate in the Legal plans will often see a difference in expectation between plan members and the more traditional client. Typically, legal plan members are entitled to a suite of services and consultations, and with that comes a higher level of expectations. The good news is that by adopting some standard practices, you can consistently meet and exceed these expectations. Here are some tips to consider:
- Call on Time – When you have a telephonic consultation scheduled, calling on time is a key factor in member satisfaction. Often, this is the first impression you are making, and there is no better way to get things off to the right start than being punctual. Your time is valuable and so is theirs.
- Introduce Yourself – In the middle of a busy day it can be easy to jump straight into the meat of a legal consultation without taking the time to say who you are and what you are calling about. You know what you are calling about, but the member might not.
- Familiarize Yourself with the Issue – To the extent possible, get a factual background of the matter prior to the consult, research the issue when necessary, and give the member a couple of minutes to explain the matter in his/her own words before jumping in.
- Communicate Clearly – For many legal plan members, their attorney consultation is the first time they have discussed a legal matter with a lawyer. This can be intimidating, especially with the varying degrees of member education and sophistication. Adjust your tone, style and language to your audience. Put the ease in legalese.
- Sell Softly and Transparently – While a legal consultation is a great way to introduce your services and rates, first and foremost, the purpose of the call is to address the member’s questions. Demonstrate your value as a knowledgeable, punctual and communicative attorney and the engagements will follow. When it is appropriate to bring up your services and fees, be transparent, surveys show that flat fee arrangements are preferred and have a higher client conversion rate.
- Understand the Plan You Are Servicing – Legal plan members often have questions about plan benefits and limitations. Rather than simply redirecting them back to the plan administrator, take some time to understand the terms of the legal plan you are servicing that way you can assist with some basic membership questions.
- Get Feedback. Most plan administrators keep track of how their attorney network is performing. If that information is not currently shared with you, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask. This will help you gauge and improve your practice and shows the plan administrator that you care.
At the end of the day, treat plan members with the same excellent service you would treat any other client of yours. Remember: a happy member = a happy plan administrator.
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