“If we don’t take care of our customers, someone else will.” Unknown
A recent BTI Consulting Group study revealed a startling finding: “87% of law firms have at least one major client relationship at risk. Yet few law firms are aware of their vulnerability – and even fewer are doing anything to change the landscape.” Legal Trends, Most Law Firms Have At Least One Major Client at Risk, by Marcia Borgal Shunk, Principal at BTI Consulting Group, April 9, 2009.
If you are a glass is half full sort of person you would immediately look at this and think, “Wow, what a great opportunity to pick up some new clients!” And that observation would be correct. If you are seeking to grow your business, this statistic illustrates an encouraging opportunity to win over some new business. Your next step should be to develop a strategy of how you are going to capitalize on that fluidity. But in developing that strategy, consider the glass is half empty sort of person who is worried about which client in their portfolio is on a possible exit. To figure out the best way to win clients from others, you should start with getting a clear understanding of why the clients would consider leaving. Figure it out, then offer what’s missing. And even better, make sure your own clients are getting what’s missing as well.
The focus of the study was not on how to win new clients from others, it was on what it takes to retain them. Obviously, winning clients while simultaneously losing others is not going to grow revenues. The study indicates that using aggressive client surveying to uncover client satisfaction is critical to gaining client loyalty and to becoming one of those rare 13% of the firms not at risk. I agree, but I also suggest that after you do your surveying not only should you use the information to keep your current client’s happy; you should use the information to design your next marketing campaign. You see? The glass is half full!