Law firm management needs to create loyalty

In previous times, I was concerned with exceeding client expectations. However, in this era of fast-moving relationships, this merely means we are “renting” clients’ business. In order to avoid “burn-out” by lawyers and clients who are not satisfied with lawyers, I think we need to talk in terms of “managing” client expectations. When clients know what to expect from their lawyers, and their lawyers deliver what they promise, obviously clients will be satisfied.

There is another principle, however, that may be even more important. This is loyalty. Loyalty, to me, means that the client (especially corporate clients) will not be swayed by every competitor to enter his office. Loyalty means that the client understands the value being received by the current lawyer, tells the lawyer what the competition offers and yet remains with the current lawyer.  In other words, the client wants a fair price, but doesn’t seek legal work based just on the lowest price.

Here are some things that will build loyalty:
•    Listen. Ask the client how they want to be treated, what the lawyer can do better.
•    Invest. Invest in professional development to provide better skills and service.
•    Focus. On output – on using what is learned.
•    Respond. To both your staff and to your clients. Responsiveness is the single most important tool to retain clients.


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