Don’t roll your eyes. Law firm clients can be loyal. And maybe if you’re a criminal defense or family lawyer, having loyal, returning clients might look weird on paper, but it doesn’t necessarily mean what you think it is.

First, according to Bain & Company and Harvard Business School, increasing customer/client retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%. Compared to new clients, existing ones are 50% more likely to try new services and products and spend an average of 31% more because they trust your brand. They’re also:

  • Great promoters because they tell everyone they know about the value your services bring
  • Less likely to dispute fees or seek a deal
  • More willing to use higher-value services

On the personal side, they’re easier to work with because you already understand what they need, how they prefer to communicate, and what their expectations are. That makes your life a lot easier.

So how do you turn a happy client into a loyal one? Here are some tips that are easy to implement and can make your relationship with them both profitable and pleasant.

Know Your A-Listers

Every client is important, but they’re not all created equal. Identify the ones who represent a significant portion of the firm’s billings and/or refer the most business to you, and give them the A-lister treatment. This could include: 

  • More personal attention, priority responses, and consistent access to you.
  • Invitations to appreciation events
  • Handwritten thank-you notes
  • Special appreciation gifts like a bottle of wine or Scotch

Everyone likes to feel appreciated, especially if they’re paying a lot of money for quality legal services, and steps like those above can create serious loyalty.

Make Sure Everyone at the Firm Knows Them Too

For a key client, set up dedicated internal teams and educate them on the client’s needs, preferences, and expectations. For ongoing services like outside general counsel or employment matters, create an annual plan outlining a service delivery plan for the coming year. You should also make sure the client knows who’s on the team and who to go to for certain services.

Solicit Their Opinion

Once you’ve completed a matter for them, arrange for a post-case evaluation, either in person or via Zoom / Skype. Ask them for honest feedback on what they liked and what you can do better. For clients who have retained the firm for long-term legal services, schedule a yearly review and strategy meeting.

Support Their Success

If the client has a charity project, consider making a contribution on behalf of the firm. If you have a single point of contact for a corporate client, send positive feedback to their supervisor. Use their products and services or refer them to others.

Loyalty Matters!

While growth is important, loyal clients deliver even more value because they’re a reliable source of revenue for the firm and they make your marketing a lot easier. They’re also more likely to use your other services and give you the benefit of the doubt when setbacks occur. Turning happy clients into loyal ones is easy to do and extremely profitable in the long one, so making retention a priority this year could skyrocket your bottom line by the next.