I worked on my consultation procedure with a coach (yes, I get business coaching) and realized a HUGE thing that everyone I talk to needs and I don’t always do. What is it, you ask? Simple – telling them you are sorry and empathize with what they are struggling with.
Lawyers are not meant to be legal problem-solving robots.
When the persons tell you their story, whether it’s immigration or divorce, or even a stressful real estate transaction I sometimes handle, everyone needs the attorney to say the words of empathy! Everyone wants a bit of reassurance. Why else are they going to hire you? Words like: I am sorry you are going through this. You are a good person and don’t deserve this. Wow, this must be so tough.
It’s really scary to deal with a lawyer! I know myself because I have turned to other lawyers for help in certain things I was not equipped to handle for my own personal life. It’s nice to feel like a freaking HUMAN being.
Just saying ‘I am sorry you are going through such a rough situation’ before starting to explain the legal procedure we will use to help them REALLY makes the person feel good and changes our interaction tone. The world has become so crazy and stressful that we all need a little empathy and for someone to acknowledge that you are going through a rough time, that you are struggling. Just that alone has improved my consultations TREMENDOUSLY! The client does not know that I feel bad for them without me actually saying those words. This seemed like such a Eureka moment.
A little secret about lawyers – we are extremely scared people because our training puts all kinds of fears into us, drilling into us so many ethical considerations that we sometimes drown in them and even forget about advocating for our client being our number one goal! I get people all the time that have been turned away by other lawyers because their cases are scarily complex and the client has maybe done some wrong things. But this is what they need an attorney for! And I can acknowledge that they are struggling and tell them, hey fellow human, I feel sorry for your struggles. Let me try to figure this sh.t out that you got into. Even the weakest cases deserve a chance.
I think that everyone you come to for help with your problems should see you as a human being and acknowledge the stress you are going through, even if you are talking to your accountant or lawyer, and definitely a doctor or a nurse or a dentist!
And what types of things do you think would improve customer service when dealing with professionals?