Simple and powerful. Client service at its best.
At its core — the pandemic proves excellent client service still sits at the epicenter of the client relationship. And yes, client service takes work — but so does everything else. And this work brings intellectual, financial, and personal rewards for both attorneys in law firms and corporate legal departments. Everyone wins.
Reap these rewards by adopting the 7 core strategies behind The BTI Client Service 30. Any one of these boosts performance. Adopt more than one and you will start to outpace a lot of other law firms — and gain more business in the process. We discuss each below.
1. Knowing How to Help in the Unknown
Each of the firms in the BTI Client Service 30 understands how to act in the face of the unknown. They were grounded and provided base-level advice to clients who were fighting fires. This counsel included how to ensure they were not discriminating, key aspects of employee communication, litigation to postpone or get stays, what to do with their pending deals, and so much more. The point is they spoke up before clients asked.
And please don’t lose sight of the keyword in the paragraph above — spoke — they called and talked it through, often developing better ideas together.
Clients had a lot to say. Mostly about work but occasionally on other things, and the partners at these firms were a sympathetic ear. They were empathetic listeners and gained deep insight as a benefit. Clients told us some partners were able to help by being a safe ear — they could listen to themselves and sort things out. Listening is highly underrated as an analytical tool for clients.
3. Voice-to-Voice Communications
Almost every single driver behind elite client service during the last 12 months involves talking to clients — this means voices. Texts and emails may be part of the picture, but the voice connection is the source of the core communication. All the rest supports the conversation.
4. Sharing ideas
Clients love talking about new ideas in the best of times. It became a critical tool during the pandemic. The partners who shared ideas from other clients, partners, and any other source had an edge. They could educate clients, help them solve problems, and provide a respite from the daily routine.
5. Creating Solutions
Creating ideas brings a certain intellectual reward driving a lot of attorneys — both at law firms and in corporate legal departments. Clients needed ideas and these law firms were there to join creative problem solving and provide the mental rewards.
The questions were coming fast and furious from management. They wanted answers. These partners ramped up response, mobilized, and did what had to be done — in record time. This was not the typical “when do you need this” response. Partners at these firms needed it now.
7. Long Term Investment in Individual Clients Pays Off
Virtually every firm in the BTI Client Service 30 has a dedicated program to develop existing clients. Note: Not just a strategic priority but real programs with budgets, goals, plans, deep client feedback, training, dedicated BD resources, and accountability.
Knowing your client and being able to have voice-to-voice communication before anyone else puts you ahead of all the others. Firms reported increases of more than 15% in new business during the pandemic and sidestepped the flurry of RFPs corporate counsel launched last April. These client programs just paid for themselves for years to come.
Few firms set out to implement all 7 of these strategies. But one tactic leads to another. It’s a natural progression. And a path taking you where you want to go.
Learn about all the different strategies and tactics the top-performing law firms are using to drive their performance in the just-released report The BTI Client Service A-Team 2021: Survey of Law Firm Client Service Performance. You can:
- See exactly where your firm excels — and where it doesn’t
- Compare your performance in each of the 17 activities to 8 other firms of your choice
- Target any areas of relative weakness — and build on client recognized strength
- Generate more work — almost immediately
Get the details on the report, The BTI Client Service 30 and Most Improved Client Service Law Firms, and the tactics working in today’s market here.
Be well. Be safe. Be cautious.
The Mad Clientist