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Managing Client Expectations for Better Reviews and More Referrals

Updated: Oct 13, 2023

At your law firm, building strong client relationships and earning more referrals begins with effectively managing client expectations.

A office view with a business women with a laptop on her desk  servicing two clients.

According to Clio's 2022 Legal Trends report, client reviews hold the most sway in hiring decisions. To secure great reviews and referrals, a key ingredient is managing client expectations during a smooth onboarding process. (Not sure what onboarding is? Check out our onboarding guide to learn about the process.)

Did you know that a staggering 90% of customers believe companies can enhance their onboarding process? It's not just about setting expectations; it's about truly understanding your clients' unique needs and adapting to them so they feel as if they don't have any needs at all.

To set clients up for long-term success, managing expectations becomes an ongoing process that involves gathering feedback and data to continuously educate and empower them. And one of the best ways to achieve this is by asking the right questions during onboarding. Open-ended questions, in particular, unveil valuable insights about clients and services, paving the way for improved client relations.

Onboarding questions that can help you manage client expectations:

When do they hope to have things delivered, and why?

In an ever-evolving industry and tech environment, understanding clients' ideal delivery expectations can help you outline a successful customer communication system and management guidelines.

What is your availability and communication preferences?

66% of customers expect companies to understand their needs. Understanding their availability and capacity for involvement in their case and explaining what you'll need from them is vital for attaining success.

What is the budget and how flexible is it?

Discussing the budget and its flexibility at the outset allows you to make informed decisions and ensure the project stays on track.

Bonus Tip: Change is inevitable, and it's important to prepare your client for that

Clear plans and addressing potential challenges are crucial for effective service delivery, but they can also change. Be sure to inform clients of any common "surprises" that may change the outcome of their case.

Explore our ClientConnect package, a powerful done-for-you package where we help manage your client's expectations by customizing your onboarding processes based on the needs of your firm. Learn more here.

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