Everyone knows today that it is a buyers’ market when it comes to legal services. One only has to pay attention to the surveys reporting that clients are dropping law firms that no longer meet their needs in terms of responsiveness, costs, communications, and otherwise fail to meet their expectations.
I ran across an article by Kimberly Alfred Rice over on the Law Practice Matters blog that identifies six ways that a law firm can chase clients away.
They include failure to:
- Provide "insights and wisdom" about he problem, not just technical legal answers;
- maintain trust, as in neglecting to provide the "complete and utter truth about a matter;"
- communicate often and effectively;
- produce timely advice to meet client needs;
- use common sense when it comes to billing, and invoicing for every "instant" spent on a clients matter (I agree with Rice that it’s a good idea to include time spent, but not billed for, on the invoice); and
- always look for opportunities to add value to a client relationship, by way of "various marketing and communications tools" such as CLE seminars, newsletters, law alerts, etc.
Obviously, these are just some of the ways to lose clients. So, let the word to the wise be sufficient.
I just hated it when my mother used that phrase. But I guarantee you, mother was usually right.