A lawyer often gets to meet various kinds of people in the form of clients. Nature, reactions, and expectations of every client from the lawyer are different. Irate customers are found often in every profession. So, it becomes a huge task for the lawyer to know how to deal with various kinds of clients. Some may be too angry, rude, may have unrealistic expectations. Some clients may simply get angry for an unjustified reason or for justified, and some may be too hard to satisfy.
What is important for a lawyer is not to lose a client, which will be possible if he/she knows how to deal with such clients because the way you deal creates a difference and impression. In this article, some of the ways in which volcanic situations can be handled.
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DEALING WITH IRATE CLIENTS
While dealing with clients, there are certain expectations which we should keep from our own self and some traits of the clients which lawyers should understand and react accordingly. The grievance must be either with respect to unsatisfactory performance, losing a case, charging higher than required, delay in show-casing results, manipulation of certain facts.
Understand the reason for such irate behavior
There may be various reasons for such behavior of the client. Understanding the reason will help to arise at a problem by thinking peacefully. There may exist various reasons some justified and some absolutely not. Acknowledge the problem and understand what went from your side. Maintain the control, don’t jump to a conclusion. Always suggest that you are trying to find a solution, “let me see how can I help you.”
The attack is not personal
You are not the victim of their ranting; you are not what they tell you. Separate the professional experience and do not let it affect your personal life. Please remember a very important piece of advice, the attack or the anger is you as a lawyer and not you as a person. So, if you have any relationship with that person other than the client-lawyer relationship, please do not spoil the same due to some friction in professional working. They are just disappointed and annoyed due to some action or performance of yours.
Listen to what they have got to say
Use the patience you got to listen to what the person has to say, what the concerns are, and what they think is the possible recourse. Make them feel that you are concerned, and you are listening. Sometimes just listening can help and diffuse the situation.
Be careful when you need to step in and choice wise words to give your opinion about the conflict or the emotion. Once they have vented out all, only then suggest any possible method or think how otherwise to react. Summarize your understanding and ask any relevant questions.
Face-to-face is more favorable
When one conversation happens meeting physically, you can see the real emotion and reaction of a person. What can be easily solved by meeting face-to-face, maybe even difficult to understand over a telephonic conversation. So, try to meet and solve the issue.
The way you talk, your tone, and your choice of words create a significant difference. A very tense situation can be calmed down by simple and silent reactions.
Understand why they are difficult
Not everyone is just angry because they are unhappy. Some have this trait as an inbuilt characteristic. So, identify and react accordingly. If it is the inbuilt nature, then build a mechanism to deal with them every time such a situation of tension arises.
It may so happen, many times the language used, or the actions may not be appreciated by you, but stay calm because two hotheads can solve no problem amicably.
Apologize and provide professional sympathy
If there is some aspect where you went wrong, reacted unfairly, or did something unauthorized, then apologize graciously. Sometimes the anger maybe just for losing a case or not being able to close a deal successfully, in that scenario extends professional consideration and suggests future recourse. Accepting mistakes will help them trust you more for being honest.
It is important to maintain body language that shows that you are listening, understanding, and in reality, you feel what you are showing. Because if the words and actions are different, it may create an impression of being manipulative.
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Irate clients are not uncommon to find. Simple ways to deal with clients can ease up a situation of tension. Easy reactions and simple solutions like active listening can help the client in getting assurance that you are also equally concerned as they are. If there has been some mistake on your part, be humble enough to accept and take all the necessary steps to correct it. Resolve the situation to the satisfaction of everyone, you are lawyers, and lawyers are capable of doing that.
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