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Breaking Down Barriers: Creating a Client-Focused Law Firm Culture

Breaking Down Barriers: Creating a Client-Focused Law Firm Culture






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    Breaking Down Barriers: Creating a Client-Focused Law Firm Culture Breaking Down Barriers: Creating a Client-Focused Law Firm Culture Presentation Transcript

    • Breaking down barriers:becoming more clientfocusedAdam L. Stock Allen Matkins
    • Background22 years in marketing & business development6 years in the legal industryPrimary buyer of outside legal services forseveral companiesDeveloped a formal client service team programand launched 30 teams
    • “Round up the usual suspects…” Lack of understanding: What is “client focus”? Lack of buy in: Why do it? Lack of urgency: Why do it now? Lack of perspective: What do our clients really want?Lack of resources: How can we do it without $$? Lack of commitment: How can we sustain the effort?
    • Barrier:Lack of understanding
    • What is “client focus”?Putting the clients’ interests at the center ofour business decisionsThis plays out in: Information sharing & training Client surveys and teams Quality improvement program
    • Shift service delivery… from the lawyer
    • Shift service delivery… to the team
    • This means…More client contactSharing information internallyRecognizing service beyond good legalworkAsking the client what s/he wants and needsand acting on itEveryone is a “firm ambassador”
    • Who are our clients? Client information
    • Who are our clients? Business Trends Competitive Intelligence
    • What services do we provide? Services we provide
    • What services do we provide?
    • What services do we provide?
    • What services do we provide?
    • What services do we provide?
    • Barrier:Lack of buy in
    • Clients who see their primary law firms as best in client service deliver nearly twice the spending $1.15Million $ $0.59 Spending on Primary Spending on Primary Law Firm Law Firm Client sees as BEST in Client Service BTI Survey of Client Service Performance and Client Needs 2006
    • Also…30% more profitsWord of mouth recommendationsBuilds morale and productivity
    • How much buy-in do you reallyneed?Build some successes and people will follow
    • Barrier:Lack of urgency
    • Exploit a sense of urgency
    • Advocate for change Insanitydoing the same thing over andover again and expectingdifferent results Albert Einstein
    • Barrier:Lack of perspective
    • What do clients really want?Buy researchAsk them!
    • How clients define client focus Put the Clients Needs First 29.6%Understand the Clients Business 24.9% Be Responsive 19.6% Deliver Good Value 9.5% Achieve the Clients Goals 5.8% How Clients Hire, Fire and Spend: Landing the Worlds Best Clients 2006, BTI Consulting
    • There is no substitute for asking yourclientsEvery client has different specific needs:– Responsiveness– Billing detail and formats– Budgets and summaries– Bench strength– Business referrals– Education– Etc. Find out what the needs are and address them
    • The client review process
    • Barrier:Lack of resources
    • Client feedback “on the cheap” Clients invited to our firm to tell us about: – Their business – What they like in law firmsThanks for organizing this event. From – What they don’t like inmy perspective, the presentation was asenjoyable as it was informative. law firmsI cannot think of a better educationregarding client service than to hear it – Their ideas of goodstraight from the client in that fashion. client service– Associate
    • Barrier:Lack of commitment
    • How can we sustain the effort?Provide ongoing training & celebratesuccessesInclude the entire firm – show everyone hows/he plays a partBuild a service improvement process andemploy Six Sigma techniques
    • It takes a “whole firm” to deliversuperior client serviceSample Client Service Improvement Checklist – everyone has a part to play Client action plan Who Introduce another practice group Attorneys Managing partner visit with GC Management Host a client event, Add client to Marketing mailing lists, Perform a client survey Set information alerts Library Provide a customized billing format Billing/Finance Create a Client Extranet IS, Secretaries / Paralegals Improve responsiveness Attorneys, Secretaries
    • Six Sigma methodology (DMAIC)Define process improvement goals that areconsistent with customer demandsMeasure key aspects of the current process andcollect relevant dataAnalyze the data to verify cause-and-effectrelationshipsImprove or optimize the processControl and continuously monitor the process
    • Case study: improving our clientpitch processImproving our pitches improves our winrate & businessChallenges to address:Preparation: Insufficient time to prepareCustomization: Not customized to the specificneeds of the clientRelationships & history: poor knowledge ofclient/prospect and important relationshipsResearch: Poor knowledge of prospect prioritiesand which law firms they use
    • Differentiation is primary incompetitive business presentationsand proposalsLevel 1: Competence – Technical capability of the lawyer or reputation of the firmLevel 2: Comparative performance – Track record on similar matters as compared to other firms and credentials in the industryLevel 3: Differentiation – Creativity on a specific matter, mutually beneficial relationship with buyer and perceived seamless service from the firm Firms spend too much time on levels 1 & 2 and are unprepared to discuss level 3WJF Institute, 2008
    • When we implement the full processincluding research, pitch developmentand refinement we get the best resultsIdeal pursuit development process Day 1 Day 7 Do research Develop pitch Refine/review materials pitch Identify Review Review Finalize Target Research 1st Draft of Pitch (Atty + BD) (Atty + BD) Pitch Materials (Atty + BD) (Atty + BD)
    • “K. and I have interviewed patent litigators fromBoston, D.C., Chicago, Atlanta, Houston, Austin,Los Angeles, Denver, the Bay Area, Portland,and Seattle. I can honestly say that your teamwas hands down the most impressive – by amile. Thank you all for being prepared, answeringour questions articulately and thoughtfully, andfor taking the time to meet with us.” – Chief IP Counsel, Fortune 100 company
    • Results over one yearWin rate up >20%Number of pitch requests has increased >2xAverage advanced notice is >weekRecord level attorney satisfaction
    • Key to success: seeing beyondthe barrierDon’t focus your energy on the barrier itselfFocus on the solutionEnvision your firm beyond the barrier