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The Importance of Your Existing Client Base

By Roberta Gubbins posted 02-01-2019 03:12 PM


Develop a client base that perpetuates itself.
Words of Wisdom, Master Lawyers Section

The above words of wisdom from a member of the Master Lawyers Section are supported by the research. A client base that continues to use and refer your services is cost effective and increases your bottom line. Consider:

  • It can cost five times more to acquire new customers than it does to keep current ones. National Law Review
  • A 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75%. Bain & Company

How to keep clients satisfied and coming back.

The impression your office creates begins with the first contact the prospective client has with your firm. Most will click on your website—be sure it is mobile-friendly, accessible to all users, presents organized content, and is easily navigable. When clients call or come in the office, they should be assisted by professional and helpful staff.

The legal value you provide, such as being an expert in your field, anticipating legal issues, providing timely and useful advice, and answering phone calls in a timely manner will lead to a satisfied client during the pending matter.

How do you maintain contact after the matter is concluded?

With personal networking and relationship building.

Face-to-face communication is best. Meeting in person is an opportunity to build stronger and mutually beneficial relationships. Taking your client to lunch, sporting events, the theater, or visiting them at their place of business are all effective marketing techniques. Active participation in trade associations to which your clients belong is also a good way to see them on a regular basis.

If you can’t always communicate in person, a phone call or an email with information on a new law affecting their business is also effective. The firm can send out a quarterly newsletter and other direct mail to keep their name uppermost in clients’ minds. An annual “thanks for your business letter” to your top clients is a good communications tool.

Client Surveys
In-person surveys are the most effective. Clients like the opportunity to tell the firm how it is doing and how it can improve its service. Written surveys, sent electronically or by mail, give clients a chance to write their opinions and indicate other legal services they may need.

Speeches and Client Seminars
Offering a free seminar is a valuable business development tool. It can be used in a variety of ways.

  • Plan a seminar for clients at their place of business. Let the clients decide the topics, which should be of the general information variety.
  • Search for conferences held by independent event organizations, professional groups, academic institutions, or think tanks related to your clients’ interests. Often the organizers are looking for speakers to contribute to the group.

Marketing to keep existing clients or develop new ones isn’t difficult. Using one or two of the above marketing steps can help improve your business.

After years practicing law, Roberta Gubbins served as editor of the Ingham County Legal News. Since leaving the paper, she provides writing services to lawyers ghostwriting content for websites, blogs, and articles. She is editor of The Mentor, the SBM Master Lawyers Section newsletter.

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