If your firm has ever lost a client (yeah, I know), I hope you know why. Not think you know, BUT really know the reason(s). My guess is that it was due to poor client relations and/or failure to produce value, or a combination of both.
An article by Aric Press, editor-in-chief of The American Lawyer in an article entitled “Why Clients Fire Firms” on The AmLaw Daily this week talks about some reasons blue-chip, billion dollar companies fire law firms. (IMHO the size of the company doesn’t matter.) The list consists of poor service, quality issues, and price (read value). Also mentioned was failure to transition to a new lawyer when one retires or leaves the firm. Transition in a solid, meaningful way.
The overall relationship – involving caring about the client’s goals, effective communications, working hard to produce true value for the client, etc. – all are extremely important. As Press points out, a main reason for firings: “severe lack of relationship between what the bills were and what the value was.” Let’s not forget that results also matter, but it is not always THE reason.
So, are you providing value? How do you know? Have you asked lately? Ever? As Press puts it “[a]wareness, of course, requires a working feedback loop that connects to a firm’s client relations operation.”
If your firm does not have such a client “operating system,” and you haven’t sought feedback as to the overall relationship, you too could get a pink slip. And, without regular feedback, you may never know the real reason why.