At a fantastic Marketing Partner Forum session in Miami, I was lucky enough to sit in on New Techniques in Client Journey Mapping session.  

My quick takeaways will not be a surprise to most of you: be curious, be focused on your client, compensate your lawyers on client success, know your numbers (particularly how likely it is the client will refer and recommend you), be solution-focused and of course, do great work.  

What really piqued my interest was when Renée Miller-Mizia, Chief Marketing Officer, Dechert LLP referred to the study DLA Piper conducted with analytics partner Axiom looking at what impacted client retention.  DLA Piper looked through four years of data and about 7 million records to determine what variables made a difference to client retention.

They settled on four key factors impacting client retention

  1. Reduce the matter team to five or less and increase time per team member
  2. Introduce one new professional to the relationship
  3. Add one more industry expert to the team (which could coincide with point two)
  4. Run focused, relevant marketing initiative for each client

Axiom and DLA Piper identified approx 1000 at-risk clients to target with these strategies and soon found that the more variables they acted upon the more success they got.  Back in 2017 DLA Piper had already estimated an increase in revenue of $37.6 million for the firm by implementing strategies based on the client retention analysis.

Having a look at these key factors it strikes me that all four-point to the fact clients want high-quality time with experts at the law firm.  That expertise referred to is not just in the law but in their world.  They want law firms to know about their needs,  they want marketing aimed at them.  They want smaller numbers of people who really know them.  They want industry expertise, not just legal expertise.

My final takeaway - if you are law firm you better be showing that your lawyers have that client-focused expertise.  Make sure your marketing efforts are helping empower your lawyers to showcase their expertise - in a timely, expert-led, one-to-one (expert-to-expert) manner.

Thank you to the  Moderator: Jennifer Schaller, Managing Director & Co-Founder, National Law Review and the Panelists: 

  • Susan Lee Hollender, Chief Marketing & Business Development Officer, Michael Best & Friedrich LLP, 
  • Alex Macdonald, Chief Client Value & Practice Management Officer, McCarter & English LLP
  • Renée Miller-Mizia, Chief Marketing Officer, Dechert LLP
  • Adam Severson, Chief Marketing & Business Development Officer, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC