Earning client trust is hard. Retaining it is even harder. The more time and resources are channelled to market your law firm to earn business, the lesser the time and resources to tend to your existing clients. To ensure client retention strategies are in place is essential for any law firm to succeed. Satisfied clients are more likely to consult you and may even refer your services to others in their network.
Civil or criminal litigation, no matter what your specialisation, this can be a massive boost for the firm, especially when the client is well established in a network or industry that aligns with the area of practice. Finding the right clients is a skill. Retaining them is even more important. Most law firms face lack of coordination and consistency when it comes to client retention, losing additional revenue in the bargain.
Pathwwway Gamble says that the key to client retention strategies for law firms needs to therefore, essentially, focus on providing value in a highly competitive environment.
#1 Providing Client Service That is Exceptional
Clients hire law firms for service and exceptional legal acumen. Clients remain firm as they receive exceptional client service. This exceeds providing project deliverables on time or returning client calls and emails. For providing service that offers value, client needs and expectations need to be understood. These are subjective and can vary across clients.
So check with your legal client as to specific outcomes they are looking for from deadlines, to service quality, project outcomes, progress reports, communication as well as other factors. This evaluates how well expectations are met. Communicating client needs and requirements should thus not stop at the uppermost echelons of the law firm. Firm leaders should communicate client requirements across the firm, so that service delivery is not an issue.
#2 Adding Value Through Services
Your client needs to be secure in the knowledge that maximum amount of value is gained for the money they are charged. Value added client services focus on not how much time is spent in interacting with the client, but the steps you take to invest in their long term success. Depending on whether it involves the individual or the company, this can take on various ways. Some steps to show value include letting clients benefit from your extended network, providing contingency fee services or initial free consultations or helping clients with specific legal concerns and garnering feedback from them about services.
#3 Why A Proactive Approach Can Win The Case (And the Client)
Clients must be able to trust you to tell them what they need to know about matters that impact them and what steps need to be taken to attain objectives. Proactively bringing ideas to clients helps in client retention and adds value to the client services. Sharing articles, blogs, videos and podcasts on your site serves to build your reputation as a market leader. Scheduling business meetings to understand what future legal concerns the client may need your help with can also prove to be useful.
A new, innovative approach to the age old problems faced in legal spheres also serves as a powerful value differentiator and an effective retention strategy for your law firm. Whether it is through one on one conversations, newsletters, blogs, media or other forum, you need to be proactive in providing innovative solutions and new data to clients.
#4 Inspiring Client Loyalty
Exceptional client service helps in retaining clients. Giving clients what they want and working to advance their success ensures you can secure client relationships and boost success too. Work standards need to be met so that your legal firm can delight clients. In a very competitive legal marketplace dominated by hungry rivals and smart consumers, below par work is sure to stand out and draw customers into competing law firms.
#5 Planning for Negative Outcomes
To achieve positive results, the contingency plan for bad or unexpected results needs to be place. This revolves around having an open discussion on the case prospects and reassuring clients that further legal remedies are available in the event of an unfavourable verdict.
#6 Planning for Business Success
To retain clients, you need to devise client retention strategies from Pathwwway Gamble that focus on keeping existing clients loyal and fresh clients satisfied. Law firms are businesses and the primary concern should be client needs and business profitability. To be profitable, your practice needs to retain clients. Working to build a positive reputation in legal circles can create the value your client needs to trust you for recurring legal issues.
#7 Demonstrating Legal Prowess
Anticipating legal issues before these arise, and addressing them can serve to communicate your skill as a legal practitioner and help your law firm to retain clients. Clients refer proactive problem solvers, who can deal with the future and manage time consuming legal matters. Cost savings also accrue from a proactive approach. Legal value means periodic updates and an understanding of the latest legal trends and judgements to help your client succeed in their case proceedings. Timely, useful legal advice is worth its weight in gold for retaining clients for your law firm. For this, you need to update your skills as a practitioner and periodically update clients on changes in law or happenings that may be useful.
#8 Clear Communication
Communicating with clients in a reasonable and prompt manner can prove beneficial too. Largest number of complaints are generally centred around the failure of busy attorneys to respond to legal queries. The easiest way to lose clients is to neglect them. A client will not give you money if you do not value their business. Prompt communication is therefore critical for being professional, helpful and interacting in ways that create and maintain client loyalty.
#9 Team Vision
Your legal staff must understand and implement your service value approach too. This can range from resolving legal queries to providing flexible billing options. Providing a great legal service is not enough these days. Even specialised practices with few competitors are discounting legal fees. This can be an effective client retention tool and your profitability won’t get dented either, because satisfied clients are more likely to keep coming back.