In today’s modern era, there’s more than one way to access legal services. Clients have come to expect the excellent levels of service they get from Amazon, Netflix, and the like in every consumer interaction.

Law firms that take a client-centered approach—an approach in which they’re thoughtful, responsive, and engaged with their clients—generate better reviews and referrals that help their business grow.

For client-centered law firms, communication means more than just providing updates on a client case: It’s about being proactive so that clients feel informed, and taking the time to ensure clients truly understand everything that is going on.

Here are three tips for taking a more client-centered approach to your client communications:

1. Answer questions preemptively

After client calls or meetings, send a secure message that summarizes what was discussed and provides supplemental info for next steps. Stay in regular communication with clients to deliver both good and bad news.

2. Set clear expectations to avoid disappointment

Specify in your engagement letters how often communications can be expected, what they will entail, and how clients can best reach you (phone, email, text, or carrier pigeon) when they have questions.

For example, Palace Law sends out a ‘Welcome to Palace Law’ letter to all new clients giving them everything they need to know about their engagement with the firm, including information on how to access training for the firm’s client portal.

3. Empower clients to access case information themselves

Consider using a secure client portal to give clients access to key documents, information, and updates on the progress of their case on their own terms.

For example, Nicholas Hite of The Hite Law Group gives clients the option to use Clio Connect, a secure communication portal, so that they can access information related to their case at any time. This helps clients feel empowered and also cuts down on time-intensive back-and-forth communications. This means Nicholas has been able to keep operating costs low while offering affordable legal services and helping him access an untapped market.

Good communication is just one piece of running a client-centered law firm—a critical approach for operating a profitable, modern law firm. Learn more about what it means to run a client-centered law firm.