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CFI TAGLaw: Tips, Tools and Tactics for Better Client Service Laura Meherg

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Presentation on theme: "CFI TAGLaw: Tips, Tools and Tactics for Better Client Service Laura Meherg"— Presentation transcript:

1 CFI TAGLaw: Tips, Tools and Tactics for Better Client Service Laura Meherg

2 Client Satisfaction & Client Expectations Is satisfied enough? satisfied clients do not help your business, and very satisfied clients help only a little. You want surprised and delighted customers;…who will not simply offer nice references, but volunteer them. – Harry Beckwith, The Invisible Touch

3 Client/Customer Service Dissatisfied Delighted Me !

4 Why Interview Clients? Prevent potential erosion or loss of work Identify opportunities for growth Better understand their business, needs and decision making process Market Research/C.I. Service credibility Increase loyalty/create coaches Measure performance Delights clients – creates advocates/coaches

5 Roadblocks Youre not talking to my client. My client will tell me if they have a concern or problem Clients are too busy… Unwillingness to respond to problems or opportunities – complacency Firm Leadership hasnt drunk the kool-aid! Lack of resources

6 Leadership Buy-in Present plan including timeline, budget, staffing or outsourcing needs and expected outcomes Critical component of long term planning Resource allocation Recruiting Expansion Interview managing partners clients 1 st Pilot the project Dont ASK unless the firm is willing to ACT

7 Who interviews? Marketing/BD Staff Managing or other partner Outside Consultant Combination Not Relationship Attorney!

8 Selecting Clients to Survey Floss only those teeth youd like to keep. Top revenue clients Significant increase or decrease in billings New relationships Organizational change Hunches or tips Forming a client service team TIP: Start with a manageable number

9 Preparation Relationship partner makes introduction Schedule meeting Internal Interviews (attorneys/legal sec./paralegals) Research resources Firm CRM system Accounting Experience databases Research tools Company website

10 The Interview Thanks Purpose Disclaimer (no tattling) Stay focused – Seek feedback 85% listening 15% asking questions and re-phrasing to confirm understanding

11 The Interview Questions – open ended What do we do well? What could we do differently? What do other law firms do that impresses you? Make your life easier? How do you define responsiveness? Using that def. how does our firm perform? How can we add value that doesnt end of up on the bill? What are the three greatest challenges facing you/your organization in the next 18 months? What is your budget for outside legal services?

12 Post-Interview Interviewers compare notes/thoughts Call relationships partner Prepare written report with recommendations for team Conducts debrief meeting with team Address any critical problems Follow-up internally and with client

13 Common Themes Cost cutting and creative pricing – share the pain Clients want to feel special Understanding the business & industry is highly valued Value-adds are EXPECTED Competition is increasingly competitive and sophisticated #1 - Managing Expectations/Communication

14 War Stories Financial Services Client What we learned Litigation budget was $14M Loved client service team Dissatisfied with FL counsel We owned AL litigation Active in GA

15 Client Said excellent technical and communication skills a keen awareness of peripheral issues regarding cases trust runs deep – beyond the relationship partner consistently looking out for my co.'s best interest know what is important and get it taken care of

16 Taking Action Two associates on the team took FL Bar Conducted a joint planning session for clients litigation department and team in new ATL office Created extranet Designated research assignments to all team members for periodic trend update

17 Financial Services Client Today firm is Southeastern Regional Counsel

18 Simple Strategy Ask clients what they want. Deliver it in an extraordinary way. Go back and ask how you did.

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