If you’ve recently lost a client to a competitor and have been wondering how that happened, wonder no longer. The recently published ‘2020 Future Ready Lawyer Survey: Performance Drivers‘ by Wolters Kluner has the answer.
Surveying 700 in-house and private practice lawyers across the US and EU in January 2020, this is probably the most comprehensive survey post COVID (although most of us were not entirely sure what this meant in January so I look forward to a survey report that has been conducted post March this year).
The Top 5 reasons cited as to why a client might leave your firm are:
- The client no longer trusts your firm can meet their needs,
- Your firm doesn’t specialise in the area of law needed by the client,
- Your firm failed to communicate its value proposition properly,
- Your firm did not demonstrate efficiency and productivity, and
- Your firm’s leverage was/is all wrong.
And three of these are essentially because you messed up on sourcing, communicating and delivering on your pricing promise.
Take-away top tip: want to make sure you keep clients and keep them happy – make sure you (and your team):
- understand(s) your value proposition and are able to communicate this,
- get your team’s leverage right [hint: don’t hoard work at the top end just so you can meet budget this year!], and
- understand the scope of what you are being asked to do and project manage both the scope and the client expectations (especially if out of scope creep occurs).
Manage this well, and you’ll be three-fifths of the way to keeping your client happy!
As a bonus, think about how you demonstrate efficiency to your client.
- Is this by saying you have the relevant expertise/experience so that you can do this faster than others,
- Is this by saying you have the appropriate IT systems that allow you to get the job done faster, or
- Does efficiency even really matter – should the conversation not be about being an effective lawyer?
As always, these just represent my thoughts and always interested to hear your views.