More WOW Tips for Retaining Clients

 

 

In a previous post, I talked about marketing as two different processes: Retaining Clients and Attracting New Clients. For this article, I am going to keep the focus on retention. Why? Because a satisfied and loyal client is likely to give you more of their business and bring new clients through referrals to friends, neighbors and colleagues. Which leads us back to the thought that more future value may be gained by retaining an existing client than by attracting a new client.

 

Any savvy attorney recognizes the need to develop creative ways to be memorable leading to repeat business and referrals. A successful, profitable engagement incorporates great client service throughout representation. At the end of your engagement, how can you create WOW moments that will leave your client spreading great news about you and your firm? Here are a few more tips on how you can turn your clients into raving fans.

 

The final invoice. How the heck can you make this usually painful experience a memorable one? If you have been successfully communicating with your client and building a relationship, you may now know if they are involved in any non-profits or have a passion supporting a local organization. Here’s a WOW tip: take the professional discount you were going to apply to the final invoice and convert it into a donation to their organization. Make sure this gesture does not go unnoticed by including a cover letter thanking the client and explaining your donation. You can also split the discount – half as a discount and half as the donation. I think you’ll agree that this is pretty memorable and something to talk about.

 

The second WOW idea is centered on delivering those final documents to your client now that the engagement is over. There are always final documents that need to be picked up or original documents that you collected during the engagement that need to be returned.  Use this opportunity to touch base one more time and make it a WOW moment. Instead of having the client pick up the documents, have your law firm administrator deliver the documents to the client’s office or home or better yet, deliver them yourself. Now this alone is nice, but let’s makes one simple change to make it a memorable experience. Include a platter of cookies, maybe even logo cookies. With the cookies, include a branded postcard that thanks the client for using your services and lists additional legal services provided by your firm. Leave a stack of your newly branded business cards (with your QR code) for employees of the company to pick up.

I’d be curious to know if any one tries one of these ideas and the reaction you get from your client.

Peggy Gruenke, Chief Operating Officer and Business Development, pgruenke@lawbizcoo.com More articles available on my blog LawBizCOO.

If You Give a Client a Cookie, They May Come Back for More

 

In a recent conversation with one of the attorneys about a very needy client,  I was  reminded of the children’s book called If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff. It’s the one where the mouse asks for a cookie, then milk, then a dozen other things which keeps the boy busy all day long taking care of the needs of the mouse. In the book, through a series of cause and effect, the boy listens to the needy mouse and acts upon the requests. In the end, the mouse ends up asking for another cookie and the cycle begins again.

 

As an attorney you have the opportunity to make a client’s engagement memorable, where he may come back for more work, or feeling frustrated and dissatisfied. You invest a lot of time and energy interacting with your clients. Any client is your bank for future work – as a referral source or for cross selling. Clients care as much about communication as they do about ability or the quality of the work product. So demonstrating good active listening skills, and being consistently responsive to clients is essential for client retention. You want to give them a reason to ask for another cookie.

 

Here’s an idea you can easily implement: Get a batch of logo cookies made at a local bakery. Keep them in the freezer, and at your new client meetings, include a wrapped cookie with you new client packet. Let them know you’ll be there to take care of their needs and at the end, you hope they come back for their future legal needs. I am sure you will make a memorable impression on them – enough so that they will tell a few friends.

Please feel free to connect with me on Twitter, Linked In, Facebook

Peggy Gruenke, Chief Operating Officer and Business Development, pgruenke@lawbizcoo.com

More articles available on my blog LawBizCOO.

Attraction vs Retention Marketing – A Two-Part Process

Attraction vs Retention MarketingDoes your firm have a marketing strategy?  If you do, it probably isn’t being carried out. If it is, you’re pretty rare. I am not sure what word or phrase I prefer when talking about marketing but whatever you call it, I have realized you need a strategy in place to help guide your success. It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, but it does need to be targeted, measurable and consistent.

I first tested this strategic marketing approach as Director of Membership at the Cincinnati Bar Association. Managing the growth of membership is very similar to managing client relationships in a law firm. My theory was that if the process was targeted and measured, I could figure out the most successful methods for recruiting new members and retaining existing members.  I developed and implemented  strategic membership recruitment & retention campaigns which included a two-part process:

  1. Attraction Marketing: Campaigns to attract potential members;
  2. Retention Marketing: Ideas/strategies for retaining happy, satisfied members who renewed, stayed involved and became my best recruiters.

Now working in the law firm world, I can draw parallels between membership retention/recruitment and client/business development. It costs more to get new clients and you need to learn how to retain before you focus on getting new clients.  If you don’t have the plan to retain in place, you’ll never gain the enormous financial benefit of new work from former clients or referrals from past clients.

Identifying the Steps:

Identify touch points which are ways to consistently be marketing. In Ann Guinn’s book – Minding Your Own Business – she identifies 4 steps with the majority of the time/money focused on retaining the clients you already have.

  1. Attraction Marketing, the pre-hire phase to increase firm visibility and get new clients;
  2. Retention Marketingto focus on your current clients who will come back for other legal services and refer you:
    • Initial consultation – marketing to potential clients acquired from your attraction marketing strategies;
    • During representation – marketing continually to demonstrate the value of your services to your client;
    • After representation – identify and implement ideas that keep you in front of them for more work or for referring you to a friend, relative, co-worker.

So you are marketing to your clients before you meet them and continue to market to them during and after the engagement creating a full circle, a continuous flow.

Creating the Process to Track Success:

You need to be able to track the success of a recruitment campaign and measure your return on investment. The only way you will be able to effectively accomplish this is by capturing the data. In the end you should be able to answer:

  1. What was the most effective tactic implemented – which one yielded the most new clients;
  2. How much did it cost and how much revenue was generated from these new clients.

It’s essential to educate everyone in the firm on what you are implementing and why. Your receptionist will be a key piece to your success in collecting and tracking your marketing campaigns. Your ability to track and measure is only as good as the data you collect. Here is a simple Excel spreadsheet showing a coding/tracking method. These fields can be added to your client database system also.

Start small, identify one or two targets areas, write your plan and do something really crazy – put it to work.

Sample

Peggy Gruenke, Chief Operating Officer and Business Development, pgruenke@lawbizcoo.com More articles available on my blog LawBizCOO.