How to achieve greater client-centricity in the Legal Sector

With the backdrop of a recession in the UK coupled with significant inflation Clients have become even more valuable. The critical ingredient is to make a renewed effort to ensure all operations from the outreach for new Clients through to final billing is Client-centric. This may seem an obvious statement, but it is certainly not in the Legal sector. When Clients deal with a small to medium Legal firm simply, finding out what is the latest with a case is no easy task.

Every Legal Firm is unique in its dealing with Clients and its market segmentation. Clearly, Legal Firms that deal with corporations need to employ different sets of working principles compared to Legal Firms that deal directly with the public. However, both now need to hire an improved understanding of their Client interactions to ensure they are more Client-friendly and provide a Legal experience that isn’t considered simply as a clock-watched necessity.

This Client-centered re-evaluation starts to open up new questions and avenues that center at the heart of what Law firms actually offer as a service. Why do Clients decide they need a Lawyer? What is involved in that process needs to be forensically evaluated to really understand the mindset of Clients that leads them to the decision that they need a Lawyer. What they are also seeking is a true value proposition, not just a service. So, the Client journey that Law Firms need to understand actually begins before a Client decides to get in touch with them.

If we further develop this approach it raises issues for example how will a potential Client get in touch with us? Will it be a call to the office for the reception to pick up? This is still the most common way for small to medium Law Firms to offer to their potential Clients. Yet in the wider service sector, this approach that relies on a secretary taking notes is increasingly rare. The counter to this observation is that for the Legal sector, this approach works so why does it need to be changed? The answer is simply Clients’ engagement habits are changing they are increasingly online and want to engage with services at their convenience in digital ways already being established as routine by other service sectors such as insurance, finance, etc. So for Clients, why should the Legal sector be different? In the current highly competitive environment it’s the Legal firm that is able to innovate and embrace Client centric change which will survive. Law Firms must re-engage with Clients beyond their immediate instruction.

The journey to higher Client centricity starts with the recognition that it is needed. It then leads to how to obtain the information necessary to make the change to a new operating model. From its simplest form, Google reviews should be assessed, it provides a good start in understanding Client experiences. Additionally, a simple survey can be conducted with existing clients seeking to provide feedback on how the service they are experiencing can be improved. Other approaches involve a more detailed evaluation using use case modeling methods to really understand the Client’s journey at each touch point from the moment the Client engages with the Law Firm through to the final payment.

Whatever path you take, this journey will lead you to an increased awareness of your approach in ways that you simply have never had before. You will then develop the confidence to check Google reviews on your Legal Firm and respond with objectivity as opposed to disregarding every negative comment as simply ‘planted’ review by competitors. The insights you gain on your Client centric awareness journey may simply mean improvements to your website and improved data management through new Client management software its key that the operating model of your Law Firm is also adjusted to ensure a real change occurs to keep you ahead of the competition.

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