Only 40.1% of clients recommend their primary law firm to a peer, after the second biggest drop on record last year, when 33.3% of clients recommended their primary law firms. The increase is impressive but still leaves more than half of all clients wanting—and these clients will seek out, find and retain the firms they want.
Client-to-client recommendations are the express lane for new client relationships and new business. Clients almost always hire the law firm their peers recommend—without checking out the competition. As a client-to-client recommended firm the business is yours to lose.
How does the client–to-client recommendation bring such exalted status? Clients trust each other to share only the best with each other—every client knows they will need a recommendation one day, which drives them to follow the unwritten “recommend only the best” code.
These clients tell BTI they recommend their primary law firm because the firms:
- Embrace their client’s new metrics and measures
- Ask for feedback on their performance on a regular basis
- Change their approach in how they deliver legal services including client input in designing the new approach
- Educate clients in new, high-value topics in a detailed, customized manner
- Set performance goals for themselves which are tied to client goals
- Bring up succession plans before clients ask
- Increase investment in understanding their client’s business
- Deliver noticeable year-over-year improvement in client service for 3 years and longer
Clients tell us there is virtually no limit to the number of actions, strategies and tactics you can adopt to improve client service. Most of these approaches are basic blocking and tackling and rely heavily on attorney behavior.
We now live in a world where clients expect their law firms to improve—all the time. We see growth in the number of law firms adopting formal, systematic programs to improve client service on a continuing basis.
Be sure to join us next week as we will share our 5-year analysis of the law firms top legal decision makers recommend most—stay tuned.