Nothing is going to be the same for businesses in the pandemic era. Even as the crisis reaches the next stage when the world inches closer to finding a vaccine, things are still far for normal. In fact, there is going to be a new normal and everyone is almost prepared for it.
The situation applies to all business domains including law firms. Right now, client retention should be a top priority because marketing spending is at an all-time low, and acquiring new clients is far more expensive than retaining the existing ones.
Clearly, nothing matters more than going the extra mile with your retention strategies. The idea is to hold on to the current clients today and through the post-pandemic phase as well. Although there isn’t a clear cut approach that you can rely on in this unprecedented situation, some measures can definitely help. Here are the tactics that every law firm should focus on during the crisis.
Deliver excellence in client service
Pandemic or no pandemic, there is no substitute to excellent client services for any business when it comes to retention. In fact, you need to go the extra mile with your services in such crucial times when trust and credibility matter more than anything else.
Emphasize client feedback, both on a regular basis and on the completion of major matters. This will give you a fair idea about the areas of improvement and service issues that need to be worked on.
Although you may need to invest time and effort in the feedback process, the insights it delivers make it worthwhile.
Leverage innovative technologies
Technology has been the cornerstone of business resilience in the COVID era. You can leverage them to realign your law firm processes and deliverables and help clients in solving legal challenges even in this tough phase.
The key lies in identifying opportunities to leverage technology for delivering better services and new solutions that drive retention. Further, innovation can help you take your practice online and stay operational when you cannot expect clients to drop in as usual.
From enabling virtual consultations to sharing vital documents through collaboration apps, there are several ways you can use technology for value-added service.
Maintain client loyalty through effective communication
Another retention strategy that you cannot ignore now and forever is staying on top of communication. In fact, maintaining effective communication in times of crisis can improve your brand perception.
Keep a close track of client history and send personalized messages and reminders about being there for them. Collaborating with a reliable phone answering service for law firms is a good idea as it keeps you connected even when operating with limited staff.
You can rest assured about seamless and consistent communication and support for the clients, which boosts trust and retention for your law firm.
Capitalize on social media engagement
As social distancing continues to be important, clients and potential clients are more likely to check out service providers online. While building a strong online presence keeps your law firm on point when it comes to acquisition, engagement is vital to retain the existing customers.
This is best done by leveraging social media because these platforms have you covered on all fronts. From staying in touch with the regular clients to informing them about your opening hours and operational processes and even resolving their queries, it can be used for diverse purposes.
Most importantly, social media breeds trust and drives referrals that enable you to go beyond retention and acquire new clients as well.
Align according to client expectations
The pandemic has led to massive changes in consumer expectations and you cannot expect to keep your business on track unless you keep pace with them. People are looking for cost-effective services that excel in quality as well.
For law firms, it is important to realign their pricing structure and see where you can trim the fees to make things easier for your clients. Any business that takes an empathic approach at this stage is likely to build long-term trust and relationships with the clients.
Moreover, they expect you to provide all the information they need on easy to reach online platforms. The idea is to be accessible and available on a variety of platforms, where they are most likely to connect.
Have a long-term plan in place
Although giving the best services and focusing on availability will have you covered significantly on the retention front, you cannot be too sure. The slowdown of business is real and recovery may not be easy.
It becomes critical to stay ahead of business planning for the long term, probably for the next few months and even years. Set realistic goals while considering the current landscape and visualizing the future when things get back to normal, which will happen sooner or later.
Legal representation is an essential service, so you have good chances of recovery with a long term plan that works.
Apart from all the strategic planning, you need to be honest when it comes to serving your clients. There’s a lot at stake for them and the pandemic disruption may have just turned things against them.
Deadlines are being missed and decisions being delayed, which probably isn’t great news for people pursuing lawsuits. Since you are representing them, your responsibility just gets bigger in this situation.
While you must focus on their best interest, avoid giving them false hopes. Have corrective actions and alternatives for them so that they can be confident even as odds seem to be pitted against them.
Needless to say, the challenges of the current situation are massive but there are still ways to breeze through. All you need is a workable risk mitigation strategy for your law firm.
Client retention is one of the most important pillars of such a strategy that can strengthen your business and keep it alive and kicking even through the toughest phases. Fortunately, the aforementioned tactics have you all set for keeping pace with the expectations of your clients and making sure that they stay with your firm.
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