With studies showing that a mere 5% increase in a company’s client retention rates can translate into as much as a 95% increase in profits, it should be a no-brainer that client retention optimization is essential to a successful firm. Let’s be serious, most people have absolutely no idea whether or not they’re receiving quality legal advice. Most of the time, people just know whether or not they like their lawyers and feed off of the confidence that the lawyer has. Other times (14% of the time according to a recent study), people leave because they do not think their attorneys are responsive enough - an easy fix for this would be to implement a Booking Widget or something of the sorts.
It should go without saying, but if you’re not providing your client with a good “bang for their buck,” they’ll probably find a more efficient alternative. This means that you should not only meet the expectations of your client, but also strive to go above and beyond that expectation. One easy way to achieve this is by providing free legal advice via a blog(which will also help build your practice in its own right). Another way to do this is by forwarding along any articles to your client that may give them some insight into their own case (i.e. rulings in cases that are similar). Finally, if you are proactive and share any new ideas that you may have about their case with them, it gives the client a sense of personal touch and inherently establishes trust within your relationship.
There is absolutely nothing more frustrating than needing legal advice instantly and not receiving a call or email back from your lawyer. A timely response can make or break a relationship with a client, and often times, this frustration gets to be too much and clients will just go elsewhere (or leave horrible reviews). Even if clients don’t have urgent questions that need answers, a slow response time can give your firm negative connotations. If you want to maintain high retention rates and referrals from clients, you MUST respond to clients as soon as you possibly can, even if it’s not office hours. Further, reach out to clients on their birthdays/holidays and send out cards. This small personal touch can make the biggest difference in your clients’ eyes and will undoubtedly give them a better impression of you and your firm.
As new technologies start to emerge into the legal space, many larger and older law firms are holding fast and resisting these disruptive tools as much as they can. On the other hand, many smaller practices are starting to see reap the benefits of cloud, video chat, and SaaS platforms to help optimize their workflow. I highly suggest getting your firm on a cloud document management system (i.e. Google Drive). These tools enable simultaneous editing from several different people at any location that has Internet access. Further, delivery of files and folders is completely streamlined, as you can provide clients with the documents they requested at a click of a button, before they’ve even driven home.
Simply put: It’s hard to fix a problem when you don’t know it exists, so offer your clients several different opportunities to give you feedback. After your initial consultation, ask verbally how they thought the meeting went. Usually, people will feel uncomfortable giving criticisms in person, so send them a follow-up email with an anonymous survey (i.e. Survey Monkey) after your meeting. Additionally, if you think that a client may have ‘left for good,’ send them a follow-up letter in the mail with some sort of deal or coupon in it. This incentivizes them to at least come back in to your office, or at the very least, refer their friends to you.
Social Media Interaction
At least once a week, scan the Internet to see what people are saying about your firm. Popular rating sites like Yelp, Avvo, and FindLaw can give you an idea of what the general public thinks of you. Further, if you find any bad reviews of your firm, respond to them in a sincere and apologetic manner (or better yet, offer them legal advice for free!). This will not only bode well with the individual, but also for any potential clients that come across this bad review.
Updated: June 14th, 2016