THE IMPORTANCE OF BUILDING AND MAINTAINING A CLIENT RELATIONSHIP
Everyone has heard the cliché “one-hit wonder”. It usually refers to a recording artist, band, etc. that records one hit during their music career - and then suddenly as quickly as they had that one hit, they fade into anonymity.
Lawyers can have one hit wonders too. A client comes in with a legal matter that needs to be handled. The issue is resolved and the client never returns and never refers any of their friends or family to the lawyer.
Think about this for a moment . . . if every client that you have represented over the years not only was a retained client (in that they return to the firm every time they have a legal issue) but also referred one client to your firm, how busy would you be? Busy enough I’d say that you would not have to worry about generating revenues to pay the overhead.
Client retention is more important in a marketing strategy than seeking new potential clients. A retained client will come back for many years and as I mentioned likely at least refer one if not more new clients to the firm. Word of mouth is the best source of new business for any business, including law firms.
So where is the break down? I recently had an attorney contact me that I worked with on a project involving implementation of case management software. When everything was running smoothly, processes were in place and staff were thoroughly trained to use the software efficiently, that was essentially the end of the project. However, the client again contacted me when there was another issue that involved preparing a policy and procedure manual for the firm. He subsequently referred me two other clients.
Why? During the course of my work with attorney and his staff, I was always conscious that through my work with the firm I needed to build a lasting business relationship with this attorney and his firm. They needed to know when that first project had been completed, I was always a resource for the firm in the future - no matter what they needed. I build relationships with my lawyers - ongoing relationships - in which they know I will be responsive and help them through any administrative aspect of their law practice.
So, too, as lawyers you have to go the extra mile to not just represent a client but build an attorney/client relationship that will outlive the current matter that you are handling. This will result not only in retention of that client, but referral of other clients directly from that happy client.
If you are making the mistake of not taking even a modicum of personal interest in your client, they will not feel connected to you or your firm and will not reach out in the future.
Don’t be the one-hit wonder of lawyers. Build that bridge of a lasting attorney/client relationship and you will be surprised how it will affect the bottom line of your law business.
I am a Practice Management Consultant, Independent Law Firm Administrator and author of the best seller, “From Lawyer to Law Firm - How to Manage a Successful Law Business”.
Read my testimonials on my website www.fromlawyertolawfirm.com, Facebook and Linked In. Look for my articles in Law Office Manager magazine.
If you have a question or need help “managing the business of practicing law®” reach out to me at 813-340-9569 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.