11 Ways to Irritate your Clients and How to Avoid it

Richard Thomas, during his tenure as the UK In...
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Managing multiple clients and your own life is tricky. The last thing you need is an ARDC complaint from an unhappy client. In ABA Books Briefs Blog , “law practice management experts Reid F. Trautz and Dan Pinnington” unearth the top client complaints. This post is an excerpt from their book, The Busy Lawyer’s Guide to Success. “Make sure you appreciate how your words, actions or inactions can annoy or even distress your clients,” they write.

Top client gripes include:

  1. Not returning phone calls or replying to e-mails –establish open methods of communication from early on in the attorney-client relationship
  2. Making clients wait in reception
  3. Ignoring client-staff incivility
  4. Dropping names to impress others
  5. Not clarifying for the client –Legalease is the worst
  6. Not delivering on promises of performance – be realistic about what your role is and what you could do for the client
  7. Not delivering on a promised outcome – do not make promises that you cannot keep
  8. Not communicating during long periods of inactivity –keep your client informed on the status of the case.
  9. Failing to be prepared
  10. Sending a very large bill without warning or preparation – be transparent and break down everything in an easy-to-understand manner.

Commit any of these cardinal sins? What to do for damage control? Reid and Trautz suggest that you “Acknowlege it to [clients], sincerely apologize and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”


About Gianna Scatchell
Chicago Attorney focusing on Internet Law, cyber security and data breach, online defamation, Internet and social media law, trademark registration and prosecution, and commercial litigation

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