The essence of client-centricity is considering how your business is structured and how you manage service delivery from the client’s perspective. Consider what is best
Importance of Client-Centricity in Legal Sector
Word of mouth is a very important method by which legal professionals win business. If your clients spread the word about the quality of your service and the care you show them, you can substantially increase your brand’s visibility in the marketplace. Clients anticipate choosing the best capital advisory lawyer who is knowledgeable about the law; you can truly differentiate yourself if your service, responsiveness, and commercial acumen are exceptional.
Loss of clients costs legal businesses money, and acquiring new clients is much more difficult and costly than retaining and expanding business with existing clients. It is sound business practice and sound economics to concentrate on expanding and strengthening relationships with existing clients. There is substantial evidence that customer-centric enterprises are more profitable.
Obstacles to Client-Centricity in Legal Businesses
Professional service firms can establish employee performance metrics that prioritize revenue and billable hours above all else. It is therefore not surprising that attorneys do not invest time in client relationships. If the only thing that matters is the next transaction, then even the best capital advisory lawyers will remain focused on selling more ‘products’ or time and will not prioritize how they can better serve their current clients.
As a business develops, it establishes its methods of operation for purposes of cost, risk management, or productivity. This is natural, but some of these practices are not client-friendly and repel customers. You must continually re-evaluate whether the business processes you implement, enhance or impede your client relationships.
- Expertise in Your Field: They always know what’s going on in their field and how to apply the latest rules and standards. With this information in hand, they can foresee legal concerns before they arise and offer preventative counsel.
- Consultation with the Client: They keep lines of communication open with their clientele and ask them about the successes and failures of their businesses regularly.
- Evaluate Dangers: Risks specific to the client’s industry are evaluated, and countermeasures are planned out.
- Customized Legal Approaches: Legal issues are not treated with a cookie-cutter approach. Instead, they tailor their strategy to meet the unique requirements of the client’s sector.
- Conformity: By ensuring their clients’ adherence to relevant industry norms and laws, they help keep their businesses out of court.
- Problem-solving in advance: They foresee possible legal problems and collaborate with their clients to devise solutions.
- Business Groups: They make use of the contacts they’ve made in their field to introduce their customers to other professionals who can help them.
- Efficient and Low-Cost Methods: They keep in mind the client’s industry’s budgetary limits and do their best to find economical legal strategies.
- Effectiveness: They streamline the client’s legal processes and documentation to save downtime.
- Committed Partnership: Long-term customer relationships are a priority, and this puts them in a good position to meet their clients’ changing legal needs over time.
- The Uptake of New Technologies: Contract management systems, compliance instruments, and data security protocols are only a few examples of the industry-specific technology and legal software they employ to boost productivity and cut down on dangers.
- Interprofessional Groups: To meet the varying demands of businesses in the sector, they put together teams of attorneys that specialize in different areas of law (such as corporate, intellectual property, and employment).
- Response to Emergencies: They’ve prepared for and are ready to respond to crises and catastrophes that are unique to their sector.
- Schooling: They promote a firm culture of compliance and risk management by instructing clients and teams on legal issues that are important to the sector.
- Ongoing Education: They participate in consistent training to keep abreast of developments in the law and their client’s field.
Remedies and Suggestions for Improvement
Organizations that make a top-down commitment to customer-centricity have their leaders speak about it, and are intimately engaged in initiatives that will make progress. People will only alter their behavior if they observe the partners and leadership “walking the walk.”
There are no easy solutions. This must be a “whole organization” or cultural transformation. Patrick mentioned the requirement to re-evaluate metrics. Partners’ approach to business development must transition from a focus on sales to relationship building. You will likely need to modify some of your business processes. These are not quick solutions. It is crucial to comprehend the difference between the client’s expectations and their perceptions of the experience. You cannot do this unless someone owns and is responsible for administering the client relationship. Typically, a client relationship partner performs this function. Is it clear who this individual is, what their position is, and how they will be evaluated when performing this function?
The majority of businesses struggle to coordinate and incorporate their client data. It exists in separate systems, and distinct departments do not share client information. You must organize this data so that you can construct a comprehensive picture of the client’s needs and issues, and then appropriately share this information.
The more attorneys invest in learning about their clients’ industries and sectors, the greater their understanding of their client’s businesses will be, and the easier it will be for them to modify their advice to meet their specific requirements. Invite clients to visit your firm and teams to discuss their businesses, market challenges, and expectations of your legal services. From my experience, this is always a win-win situation. Lawyers who conduct regular relationship reviews with their clients and routinely meet with clients after matters have concluded to identify their strengths and areas for refinement have reaped significant benefits in my experience. In addition to lawyers learning a great deal about clients’ likes and dislikes, clients enjoy being requested to participate, and the actual meeting frequently serves to strengthen the relationship.