Having spent the past two years working closely with Partners in Law Firms, two things struck me about the relationship they have with clients:
1. The relationship is owned by an individual.
2. The firm often only offer legal services to a small part of their client's business.
Personally, I never understood why this was the case. Obviously, a firm's ultimate goal is to maximise revenue from any of its individual clients?
This led me to do some reading around the topic and I came across an interesting article from one of our partners, Lexology, discussing the need for firms to build a culture of client engagement if they wish to stay competitive.
In an ever-changing world, client engagement is becoming more prominent with firms having to get away from basing their interactions on one-off transactions. They need to become relevant and demonstrate why they are the technical experts a business should use.
How can firms remain competitive? By offering added-value services, and sharing the huge volumes of content and institutional knowledge they have at their disposal, all locked away in lawyers' heads. Through doing so, it allows firms to:
1. Engage with clients in an alternative way through more than one point of contact.
2. Remain relevant and at the forefront of their mind, demonstrating the technical expertise of their lawyers.
On a firm level, instilling a culture of client engagement is about changing your approach to how you deliver services. As Susanna James says, "Firms should take a client-centric approach to everything that they do, the way they work, and the way they deliver information to clients".
Making this transformation to becoming a firm with a culture of client engagement is crucial to the survival of law firms. It’s imperative that firms do that because they’ve got to be agile, productive, efficient and change the way they practice. Client pressure is already driving change in the legal market, having an effect on many firms and the way they deliver services.