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Law Technology Today


Four Strategies to Create a Referral-Worthy Client Experience

M E Hammond


  • Enhance client satisfaction with convenient online payment methods.
  • Build and maintain a strong online presence with a professional website.
  • Improve your clients’ experience with timely and consistent communication.
Four Strategies to Create a Referral-Worthy Client Experience Productions

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Every law firm needs clients—without them, the well of revenue will inevitably run dry. However, generating new business is easier said than done. More than half of surveyed lawyers say acquiring clients is their biggest challenge, according to a report from eDiscovery specialists IPRO and ACEDS. Retaining them can also be difficult in today’s fast-paced legal landscape. Why?

  • High acquisition costs: Attorneys can easily pay hundreds of dollars per lead and thousands to acquire a client. These expenses can quickly become unsustainable for all but the largest and most successful firms.
  • Legal professionals are stretched thin: Many lawyers (particularly solo practitioners and those at small firms) not only have to practice law, but they also have to manage day-to-day operations such as time tracking, billing and invoicing, payments, accounting, and trust reconciliation. This leaves little time to focus on developing better client acquisition/retention strategies and optimizing the client experience from intake to case closure. 

Fortunately, there are simple ways to provide an exceptional client experience, appeal to more prospects, and increase referrals. Below, we’ll discuss what recent research reveals about client expectations and a few strategies your firm can pursue to exceed those expectations. 

Strategy 1: Provide online payment options

People love convenience. In a world of retail tap-to-pay and one-click e-commerce checkouts, cash and checks are becoming outdated payment methods. The Legal Industry Report from LawPay and MyCase found that 84% of surveyed legal professionals now accept credit cards and ACH payments from clients via online payment tools.

Even if you still have some clients who want to pay the old-fashioned way, simply offering the option to pay online can improve client relations. According to Fiserv’s Billing House Survey, 71% of respondents say being offered multiple ways to pay increased satisfaction. In fact, 79% expect local service providers to offer the same payment options as larger national companies.

Strategy 2: Build a strong web presence

A 2023 consumer review survey conducted by BrightLocal (a search engine optimization marketing agency) reported that 76% of respondents consider online reviews to be “important” or “very important” when hiring an expert in the legal services industry. And 77% claimed they “always” or “regularly” read online reviews when browsing for local businesses—with 49% trusting consumer reviews as much as friend and family recommendations.

Your website and online presence need to sell your practice. Below are tips to help you make a positive impression that can prompt potential clients to contact you.

  1. Ensure that your website is simple to navigate in order to provide potential clients with the information they want. Make your practice areas and services abundantly clear on your homepage, don’t make clients go looking for them.
  2. Take some time to discuss your legal process. Let clients know what they can expect from you.
  3. Showcase your accomplishments, wins, and why people should pick your practice. This is a great opportunity to include testimonials from previous clients to put some gravitas behind your claims. According to G2 (a peer-to-peer review site), 90% of buyers are more likely to purchase after reading reviews.
  4. Remember that a personal touch goes a long way. Your website should include a professional picture of yourself or your team—or, even better, a video. This allows your potential clients to put a face to the person who will help them through an important time in their lives.

Strategy 3: Ensure timely and consistent communication

Rule 1.3 of the American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct states that “A lawyer shall act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client.” This may sound like a no-brainer, but a lack of a timely response is one of the most common complaints

among clients. In fact, LawPay and MyCase’s Legal Industry Report found that almost 70% of lawyers see client communication as a challenge.

Failing to respond within a certain window (typically within 24 hours) may lose you a client. Bear in mind that most clients are reaching out to you at a critical or stressful time. They need legal help as soon as they can get it—if you don’t respond to them, another firm will.


Many firms hire a paralegal, legal assistant, or office manager to keep on top of client communication. If you’re not able to afford full-time help, call centers and virtual assistants who field phone calls and take messages may be an affordable alternative. Some of them can even qualify leads based on your particular practice.


However, this approach isn’t ideal for all firms, as third-party contractors don’t know your unique brand and preferred style of communication. Legal technology, like case management software, allows you to automate and streamline client communication in-house for a more consistent, personalized experience. Case management software also enables you to reach clients via their preferred methods, such as a secure client communication portal or text messaging.


Strategy 4: Set clear expectations

How does a law firm provide an exceptional client experience? First, it’s important to distinguish that your client experience is not determined by winning cases.


Of course, getting your job done and doing it well is important, but this alone won’t bring clients in and retain them. How you interact with clients will ultimately shape their experience with your firm. Start off by setting clear expectations from the very first meeting.


This may include:


●     The process your firm takes with cases like theirs, such as next steps following the initial consultation

●     The estimated timeline for their case

●     How you plan to bill their case, including your rate information, when bills will be due, and how to pay


Track time, invoice, and get paid—anytime, anywhere

Learn how LawPay’s end-to-end billing and payments solution can help you create a better client experience, run your firm efficiently, and free up time to focus on practicing law. ABA members who sign up for LawPay get 3 months of no monthly fee. Get started now!