Hamptons Legal – The Daily Detail

News, Service & Small Practice Management

5 Tips to Improve Client Retention

Posted by pbsweeney on September 19, 2006

ITS ALL ABOUT CONTACT

Of course, the best way to retain a client is to be the best damn lawyer you can be. It’s not necessarily the splashy dynamic personalitites that have the biggest book of business. But even the best lawyers can lose momentum with a client even while a matter is still active. You don’t ever want a client to wonder where the heck you are.

We’re not reccommending that you blitz a client with all these means of contact because how annoying would that be, but think about using a few of these to remind a client that:

-You take a personal interest

-You’re around

-You’re the logical Go To person in the client’s life

1. Google Alerts: Set up the client’s name as a Google alert so that whenever something of note happens in the client’s life, you know about it. It takes only a few minutes to have this search done for you on a daily basis indefinitely. Then you can pop the client an email of better yet, give them a call about the event. Plus you can set up alerts for industry specific news. If you are providing ongoing business consulting, this is great way to stay current and spot legislation, decisions or trends that impact the client’s business and may provide you with billable hours related to consultation and revisions in paper according to what you have found. The message : Wow, my firm really looks out for me. They CARE. They’re THOROUGH.

2. I Have an Extra Ticket: This is an easy one, because who doesn’t love being thought of for something free, so few people will turn you down. This can be as casual or upscale as you like, from a ball game to a show to a benefit. If the event is local, a last minute invitation can be a very inexpensive night, with a quick bite to eat (it’s too late to make a reservation at anywhere expensive), or drinks after to talk about the event and then of course, about the client’s life or business. This is also a great tool for continuing the conversation with that potential client you met recently. Work out a budget that is appropriate and select events twice a month. Make it part of your marketing routine, above and beyond the usual client lunches.

3. Solicit Client Opinion: You don’t have to know everything. Say you have a friend or another client who needs a particular service and they have mentioned in passing that they are looking for a specialist or an expert or even a good contractor. Think of the clients you have who have experience in the area under discussion and give a few of them a call to ask their opinion. Most people are flattered to be asked. The client has the opportunity to flex his knowledge muscle for you, and you get to have another positive interaction that demonstrates your care and concern, while reminding the client again that you’re here.

4. Happy Birthday: Yeah I know its old, corny etc., but someone needs to calendar all the clients’ birthdays and buy a stack of cards that need to go out. Don’t imprint them with the firm’s name in gold – hand write them. A terrific number of firms confirm that a birthday card has resulted in a call. “I’ve been meaning to call and kept putting it off and then I got your card.” It’s just part of making it easy for clients to remember you and call you and feel good about it.

5. Get Out of Your Office: When was the last time you visited a client at his/her place of business? During economic downtimes in particular (now), a walk through with your client at their place of business, taking a tour, meeting key employees, and initiating positive discussion, helps solidify your position with the client. Ask the client how they are responding to their current situation, whether it be reduced or increased growth. Talk to them about where they see themselves in two years, in five years, etc. Explore a few potential legal needs for them down the road such as, for example: their commercial lease or new premises, labor and any associated immigration issues, structure of the company, etc. You know what to do – just get yourself there and do it!

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Anyone out there have a tip they’d like to share?

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