Is your aim to bring care beyond legal advice and have your clients rave about every member of your team? Law firms invariably answer ‘yes’, but must do more – a lot more – to unlock their firm’s potential, motivate their people, spark their imagination and mobilise their discretionary effort. Now is the time to make this a reality for your firm.
Many firms are experiencing uneven demand for their firm’s services during COVID 19, which has increased the risk of staff disengagement and departure. The payoff for firms who engage their team in CX development is increased staff engagement and an immediate uplift in staff performance in managing client inquiries. According to the Harvard Business Review, many organisations forget that education is amongst the most valued benefits for today’s employees and firms who invest in their people also become “talent magnets”.
This article provides examples of how law firms have achieved this and reaped the rewards that set them apart from the rest.
Activate your team and create ‘Champions’
According to Forbes, 84 percent of companies that work to improve their customer experience report an increase in their revenue. In addition, 96 percent of customers say customer service is important. Law firms are only just beginning to recognise they can differentiate by establishing and embedding an exceptional client service culture. Those that succeed in doing so become the firms that clients and potential clients know, like and trust.
The act of designing and implementing this culture is best undertaken as a ‘team sport’. Apple calls this an “all round mandate” involving staff from a cross-section of their business in creating the clients’ service experience. Apple are world leaders at involving their staff in creating ‘service performance’ and having their staff think and act like ‘games makers’. Just ask anyone who’s visited an Apple Store.
One of the most effective ways some firms involve all staff in the development of the client service experience is by putting them to work in a collaborative, hands-ons client experience workshop under the guidance of an expert facilitator. In these workshops, staff are tasked with evaluating the firm’s service promise from a clients’ perspective, identifying opportunities to uplift the firm’s CX across the clients’ service journey, and choosing focus areas to work on after the workshop.
Several Australian law firms have appointed ‘CX Champions’ from a cross section of the firm to ensure CX initiatives are not one-off ‘box ticking’ exercises. These people are leaders without title and come from a variety of roles. They are usually energetic advocates who are keen to learn new skills, collaborate with colleagues, contribute to firm and client success and come equipped with a growth mindset.
The establishment of CX Champions is one of the greatest but least discussed attributes of CX because it’s an empowering and motivating force for staff who have an impact but perhaps don’t have a strong voice.
Be inspired by your clients’ perspective
Bain & Co report that many organisations now realise that exceptional CX across a range of client touch points will “attract and retain customers, as well as engage the enthusiasm and creativity of employees”. One of the most effective ways firms can do this is by involving a cross section of the employees in the development of client personas and service journey maps. These client profiles are based on the firm’s real clients. Staff work together to capture the personality characteristics, challenges and goals of these key clients.
A commercial firm in Melbourne developed client personas based on four key client roles. These one page personas included photographs to help paint a picture of the persona and other information such as their age and gender, goals and motivations. Once completed, the firm split up into groups and mapped the entire service journey of these clients from on boarding to the often overlooked stage of post-matter care.
These activities involved all staff and allowed them to understand the individual behind the role, see the firm’s service through their eyes and contribute to a group effort focused on providing care beyond the legal advice. This led to deeper level insights into the clients’ perspectives, better client conversations and resulted in impressive improvements in return and referral rates.
Showcase the team
Innovative law firms of all types and sizes are discovering new ways to take their client experience ideas from concept to reality. This too is a team sport involving a series of quick-fire workshops (known as design sprints) in which shortlisted ideas are expanded upon using design thinking techniques.
These sprints culminate in a whole-of-firm showcase in which prototyped ideas are demonstrated and pitched to colleagues ahead of client testing and further iteration. These showcases are experienced as a whole of firm celebration of staff creativity, collaboration and an all-too-rare focus on designing service experiences for clients.
The benefit of these workshops and resultant showcase is they rapidly produce early iterations of powerful new assets to enhance the clients’ experience. These assets include a new client onboarding experience to warmly welcome new clients to the firm, a suite of new advice documents built around client input and an aftercare package to ensure the client’s final touchpoints with the firm increase the prospect of referral and recommendation.
Another powerful asset is team-designed client conversation guides that provide the structure for consistently high quality client conversations to convert enquiries into paying clients. Once staff have embedded these new skills, they become a critical part of a firm’s CX playbook that leads to Increased revenue and profit and increased client retention and growth rates.
Now or never
The move to on-line collaboration in recent months has provided law firms with an opportunity to increase staff participation CX development. The new normal provides firms with the ability to collaborate across teams, offices and roles like never before to produce a truly client-focused service offering supported by a remarkable service culture.
The firms that embrace this approach will outperform their peers. Act now – these firms remain the exception, not the rule.
Talk to us today about how to engage your team in CX to deliver a remarkable experience for your clients.