Most law firms – some 80% have client team programs, but just 39% of firms say these teams are “successful” according to Bryan Austin a law firm client advisor with the LexisNexis® InterAction® group.
The data comes from a range of market research sources including surveys and interviews conducted with the InterAction client base. Upwards of 90% of the Am Law 100 and 80% of the Am Law 200 use the InterAction CRM product to help manage client relationships.
Mr. Austin is part of an experienced new team dedicated to helping law firms with best practices for managing client relationships. He presented these tips, alongside others, on a recent webinar (a recording is embedded nearby).
1. Begin by identifying a small group. Client team programs are not new, but Mr. Austin noted firms are reinvigorating these programs in an increasingly competitive market. Starting with the top 200 clients is an ambitious goal, perhaps too ambitious, and law firms would be better served by starting small. He suggests identifying candidates for a new program by identifying those clients served by several attorneys or are in the midst of corporate or industry transition.
2. Identify clear objectives. Any new program a firm launches ought to be based on clear objectives. Common objectives for client programs large law firms report included increasing revenue, expanding legal work in specific practice areas or geographies and client retention. Be sure to include the client in the process, Mr. Austin advises, “clients programs should be with your clients, not to your clients.” The best programs align the work a law firm conducts with client objectives.
4. Adjust, refine and expand. Adjusting clients programs is often the hardest aspect for law firms to achieve, according to Mr. Austin, yet it’s critical to the success of the program. He recommends interviewing clients for feedback, conducting bi-annual clients meetings and documenting the “wins” for analysis. As the program matures, law firms should seek out areas where automation can be added for efficiency, identify additional clients as candidates for the program and transforming client teams into “pursuit teams.”
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There were two other speakers on this webinar with tips for law firm business development. The entire video runs about an hour and is worth listening to in its entirety. What tips would you add?
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