As I visit various firms to learn more about their recruiting needs, I get to watch legal administrative receptionists field calls from clients, which made me want to share my views on angry client phone calls.
It happens. Clients phone and they are angry. They are angry because the lawyer has not called them back; they are angry because they have been served with a Notice of Civil Claim; and, they are angry because they have received your account and it is way too much.
What do you do about an angry caller?
First, recognize that they are not angry at you. Second, you have to approach this as an opportunity to work with the angry client to resolve their complaint instead of just dealing with them. Remember, you are also a member of the firm and have duties to the client, according to the Code of Professional Conduct for BC.
So, listen to their complaint. Sometimes all they want is someone who will listen to them. Take notes of what they are saying.
When they are finished, take the time to read your notes back to them. Once they are satisfied with your notes, tell them you will have the lawyer return their call.
Review your notes right away: are there things that you can prepare for the lawyer to make it easier for them to resolve the client's complaints?
Working with unhappy clients, challenging as it is, is an opportunity to improve the relations with the client.