Transparency is considered one of the cornerstones of the world of law. When businesses are looking at law firms for their corporate transactions, how transparent they are with their clients plays a critical role in trust and relationship-building.
The Importance of Transparency
In dealing with law firms, being able to determine their transparency level is important to make sure that it is the right fit for the client’s needs. Law firms and law professionals already have a bad reputation because of stereotypes and misconceptions. Law firms can squash the common misconception of lawyers being sneaky and untrustworthy by increasing the levels of transparency in their firms.
Reputation is everything in business and a good solid reputation will enable clients to refer new clientele your way because you have proved yourself to be reliable and trustworthy. Transparency breeds a good reputation which can lead to increased business opportunities and growth for your law firm and business.
Most organizations and business entities have realized this and have implemented ways how they can commit to transparency. This is the best way to combat misinformation and build trust which paves the way for increased opportunities and revenue.
Clear Messaging and Transparency
When it comes to legal transparency, it often starts with a clear messaging from the top-down. Direct and honest messaging should be the primary source of truth not just with clients but with employees of your law firm as well.
Having clear messaging in all avenues that encompass printed material and online will enable your clients to find the information that they need. When people are looking for or researching a law firm, the first thing that they do is to look online. When your information is hard to read, potential clients will give up trying to find information on your website. Having clear and concise web content will make people find information easier and guide them better with the decision-making process.
Improving Your Transparency
There are many aspects that a law firm can prove its transparency and this also translates to what clients are looking for when they think about transparency in law firms. Here are several aspects that you can prove a law firm’s transparency:
Clear Pricing and Billing
The number one thing that prospective clients are concerned about especially when it comes to law firms is the pricing. By being upfront with the pricing, your clients will know what to expect and won’t be blindsided by the bill later on.
One of the ways that you can be transparent about your pricing is by providing a detailed billing report. All clients should be able to get a clear picture of billable versus non-billable hours. A professional-looking invoice should also be handed to them promptly. This also ensures that you will be paid promptly.
Having a Clear Process
Most people are not well-versed with all the legal terms and definitions which is why lawyers need to make sure that their clients are understanding the whole process when working with them. This will make sure that there is a clear understanding on both sides which will boost your law firm's transparency. A crucial piece of this is ensuring that your clients know who is on their team (i.e. which lawyers and paralegals will be handling their data.
Admit Mistakes and Keep Promises
This should be common courtesy but admitting when you make a mistake and keeping your promises will foster trust between clients and law firms. When you’ve made an error, you should be able to take corrective actions to fix it and prevent it from happening again.
Keeping promises will build a better relationship with your clients and strengthens the partnership and trust between the two entities. If you break promises, this will lead clients to doubt your expertise and lack of trust can be very problematic especially if you are looking to keep your clients happy.
Clear Communication to Avoid Surprises
Clients expect to be told of any important communication from beginning to end. To ensure proper communication, law firms need to make sure that communication expectations are set from day one. Clients have different ways of how they want to receive communication so this should be uncovered within the first few meetings.
Clear communication should also translate to announcing changes within your organization. Even if it does not directly affect your clients, most people don’t like surprises and by having clear communication guidelines, you can avoid any animosity and negative feedback.
Procure the Right Tools
To ensure clear lines of communication, top law firms are engaging software solutions to ensure they can meet their client's demands. Entity management software can help you create a trusted single source of truth for both internal and external use. With the many user access options, clients can have read-only visibility on their corporate records in real-time, allowing for transparency from day one. Our experts at Athennian will be able to guide you, pinpoint your needs and ensure your firm or business is well-equipped when it comes to legal transparency so that you can generate more revenue and attract more clientele.