5 keys to understand client disloyalty in family law

When it comes to Family Law, client loyalty is hard to get, and tough to keep. And while this may seem like an issue that only affects big law firms, the reality is that client disloyalty can have a devastating impact on any size practice.

So why are clients so quick to switch lawyers? There are a number of reasons, but the most common one is simply dissatisfaction with experience. If a client feels like they’re putting in too much effort, they will look elsewhere.

Now, there’s a catch here. One would think that striving for excellent service would be the winning bargain to nurturing client loyalty, but research says otherwise. It’s not client satisfaction but client experience that drives loyalty.

Why excellent service won’t avoid client disloyalty

Major service firm CEB (now Gartner) conducted a landmark study of hundreds of service providers and almost 100,000 of their clients. They found that excellent services don’t determine whether people select, return and refer. The 5 key takeaways to understand client disloyalty in family law firms:

  1. Exceeding clients’ expectations made virtually no difference whether they continued services.
  2. 20% of satisfied clients said they were intending to find a different provider.
  3. Clients who required a service interaction were 4X more likely to become disloyal.
  4. 96% of clients who put forth high effort in service interactions became disloyal.
  5. Individuals may have a short term warm feeling after receiving exceptional service, but it does not result in better win results.

In the end, excellent services only goes so far. It’s effortless service that nets actual client retention. Keep that in mind as we delve into how law services should tackle disloyalty.

The case for a tech-centric approach to avoid client disloyalty

Now, we know what you’re thinking. The Gartner study focused on tech service providers, not legal service providers. Surely the minutiae of either don’t overlap enough to draw conclusions, right?

On the contrary.

We’re living through an authentic technological revolution. Tech providers are an every day part of our work lives. Email providers remind us not to miss attachments. Smart CRMs automate lead upkeep. Digital payment systems simplify invoicing clients.

And then, when we get to go home… an app hails a ride for us. We take to social media to ask for our followers’ opinion on what algorithm-suggested movie to watch. Then we put it on our streaming service of choice.

For better or worse, tech has defined what we unconsciously expect of client interactions, and that extends well into Family Law. There’s lot to learn from giants like Amazon, Netflix, and Uber.

Therefore, tech-centric analysis of service and client disloyalty should be taken into consideration for divorce law.

Tech isn’t the problem, it’s the solution

Clients seek Family Law services because they have a problem that needs to be solved. Does it takes a high amount effort to schedule a consultation and complete intake forms? Then they are most likely going to choose a different firm, leading to client disloyalty.

The more interactions they have with a firm, the more likely they will NOT return for post-decree matters. And, if those interactions require a high amount of effort, they are more likely to share their bad experiences. And share them with more people!

Thus, the goal should be to reduce client interactions. And the best way to do that? If you ask us (and hey! we may be biased), think of a tech-centric approach.

A tech-centric approach to Family Law would be beneficial for a number of reasons.

First, it would allow for a more efficient and streamlined process.

Second, it would provide access to a wealth of information and resources that can be used to help resolve disputes.

Third, it would allow for greater transparency and communication between parties involved in the process.

Fourth, it would allow for more accurate and up-to-date records.

Finally, it would promote the use of technology in the courtroom, which can help to expedite the process and improve the quality of justice.

Effortless experience as a means to reduce client disloyalty

There are a few key aspects that clients want out of their experience:

  • Ease of scheduling an appointment.
  • Quick and easy access to information about their case.
  • To be able to easily contact you for questions or updates on their case.
  • The ability to pay invoices quickly and easily, with as little friction as possible.

If a client is unhappy with the service they received in any one of these areas, they will likely seek out another firm. And if they’re unhappy with more than one? They’ll definitely leave. That’s why it’s so important for firms to focus on creating an effortless experience for their clients. Effortless from beginning to end.

Tech can help reduce client churn and retain clients for referrals and further matters

Technology can help law firms achieve all of the above goals. We can reduce client interactions, increase loyalty, and provide an effortless experience. Here are just a few examples:

  • Online scheduling tools make it easy for clients to book appointments at times that work for them – without having to pick up the phone or send an email.
  • Client apps give clients a quick and easy way to provide and review information about their case, so they don’t have to constantly reach out to you for updates.
  • Secure payment portals make it easy for clients to pay invoices online – without having to write a check or mail in a payment. Implementing even just a few of these technologies can have a big impact on reducing client churn and increasing loyalty.

More basic recommendations to avoid client disloyalty

Of course, there are some cases where client disloyalty is unavoidable. If a lawyer has been disbarred or suspended, for example, their clients will have no choice but to find new representation. But in most cases, there are steps that attorneys can take to prevent client defections. Here are just a few:

  • Keep your clients informed: Make sure you keep your clients updated on the status of their case and return their calls promptly. This will help build trust and keep them from feeling like they’re in the dark about what’s going on.
  • Be responsive to changes: If a client’s circumstances change, be sure to let them know how it could affect their case and what options they have going forward.
  • Don’t overpromise: It’s important to set realistic expectations with your clients from the outset. If you tell them you’ll get them an outcome that’s impossible, they’re bound to be disappointed – and may even seek out another attorney who can deliver on those promises.

If you’re looking for new ways to use technology to avoid client disloyalty, be sure to check out DivorceHelp123. Schedule a demo today!

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