When was the last time you thanked your clients for their business? Asked for their feedback? Welcomed their referrals? Invited them to call you with questions or concerns in other areas of your practice?
All of this can (and should) be done in your closing letter.
Cover the key points, as always:
- Let the client know your representation has ended
- Return original client documents
- Set out any tasks the client needs to perform to finalize the matter
- Establish responsibility for tasks to be performed in the future. (e.g. UCC renewals, judgment renewals, lease options, etc.)
- Advise the client of your file retention policy
But also use this opportunity to show your appreciation:
- Thank the client for allowing you to be of service
- Ask the client for his or her feedback:
The ABC Law Firm is committed to providing high quality service to all of our clients. To help us achieve that goal, we would like your feedback regarding our services. Please let us know how we are doing by completing and returning the enclosed survey. A prepaid, self-addressed envelope is attached for your convenience.
A well-designed client survey will give you insight about what you are doing right and what you need to improve. Increase your chances of getting a timely response by delivering the survey in a format suited to the particular client: paper, fillable PDF, or online via Survey Monkey, Zoomerang, or a similar service. Sample client surveys are available on the PLF Web site. From the home page, select Practice Aids and Forms, then Client Relations.
- Remember to invite clients back and welcome their referrals:
As you may know, ABC Law Firm provides business, real estate, and land use services to a wide variety of clients. If you know of anyone in need of legal services, I hope you will keep us in mind.
Again, I thank you for your business and appreciate the opportunity to work with you. If I can be of any assistance to you in the future, please do not hesitate to call me at (phone number).
- Use boilerplate language as a starting point, but strive to make your closing letter as personal as possible.
Small gestures can make a big difference in client relationships. Don’t wait until it’s all over to say “thank you.” Express appreciation often: after visiting a client’s office or facility, for any kindness the client shows, in your holiday greeting, as part of your open house invitation, or in recognition of a long standing relationship. Remember: getting and keeping good clients is substantially easier than courting new ones.
Copyright 2010 Beverly Michaelis