Lawyers should contact SME clients far less frequently

By Naomi Neilson|16 September 2019

More than half of SMEs said they are contacted by their lawyer far too often and prefer the contact is limited to once every few months.

Thirty per cent of lawyers said they contact their clients every few days, however, only 6 per cent of SMEs said they were prepared to have communication this often. Most preferred to be contacted once every one to three months.

The inaugural NAB Australian Legal Services Industry Survey indicated lawyers need to consider if they are contacting their SME clients too often.

NAB customer executive for professional services, Brett Moore, said: “It’s not entirely clear what’s driving lawyers to contact their SME customers more frequently than they desire, but it does appear that it’s an interruption to the other parts of running their business that they would, ideally, like to receive.”

NAB’s findings showed SMEs are happy to receive emails and it was often favourable over discussions via the phone or in person.

Mr Moore said other ways to address the over communication issue was in comprising communications to cover more issues at once, rather than approaching the client with smaller, different issues more frequently.

“Ways to address this may be as simple as aggregating communications to cover more issues at once, or greater use of different communications to cover more issues at once, or greater use of different communication methods that allow SME clients to engage at a time that’s most convenient to them,” Mr Moore said.

Another concern was how often lawyers seek feedback on their services. Almost 30 per cent of SMEs said their lawyer never sought any feedback, while one in six lawyers admitted the same.

“Feedback can be a gift – even though it can be difficult to hear sometimes,” Mr Moore said. “It can help lawyers deepen their relationship with existing clients and increase the likelihood they’ll be referred to others.”

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Lawyers should contact SME clients far less frequently
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