By Nancy Roberts Linder of Nancy Roberts Linder Consulting
Lawyers and administrators often get so entrenched in focusing on recruiting top legal talent, that they forget the importance of recruiting top support talent as well. Having an informed and well-trained support staff can not only assist in attaining client service objectives, but can also help achieve the strategic business development goals of your practice or law firm.
A staff member is often the first contact clients or prospective clients have when they call your office -- how those individuals are treated has a profound effect on your future relationship with them. Keep in mind that every staff member contributes to the image of your law firm. However, many of us forget that the person in your office who fields the telephone calls from the outside world is one of the most "important" and "powerful" individuals you employ. This individual, often a receptionist or secretary, can basically make or break a new, or even existing, client relationship. If that person is having a bad day, or is ill prepared for handling telephone responsibilities, your caller will know it -- and you could pay the price of a missed or lost business opportunity. It is important to remind ourselves that telephone calls, and now e- mail, are not a necessary nuisance, but a critical resource for obtaining and maintaining clients.
So how can you improve your client development and s...