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Client Centric Service Delivery

Insights Into Practice

Have you ever been curious as to what goes on in the minds of other legal practitioners? Have you ever wondered whether you measure up?

It’s only natural, after all it’s human nature to be curious about the world and the people around you – how do they do what they do?

With that in mind, join us as we investigate frequently discussed topics, with the aim of discovering innovative approaches to the practice of a law in an ever-changing and evolving world.

Take this blog’s topic – client centric service delivery – Where the client is the centrepiece.

Client Centric Service Delivery

Running a law firm requires dotting many i’s and crossing many t’s. It takes ticking many items off of to-do lists, like ensuring you have the right technology in place to assist in reducing labour-intensive workloads. It takes ensuring that your legal team is performing to the best of their abilities and if not, getting them the help they need – whether that’s extra support, additional tech, or training.

It involves ensuring you have the correct marketing in place in order to get the name of your legal practice in the face of the people who may need the services you offer.

It’s also no coinkydink that maintaining relationships with clients is probably one of the most important jobs (besides providing expert legal advice that is) in your practice – because we all know that attracting new clients is more expensive than keeping existing clients. It’s another one of your to-do’s.

You see, professional service firms, such as law firms, need to make it their mission for their clients to be the centre of everything that they do and that starts with creating an unforgettable experience that exceeds their clients’ expectations. And that’s called client centric service delivery.

Let’s delve into that a little deeper, shall we?

What is client centric service delivery really?

According to the article 8 Tips for Becoming a Client-Centric Organization, client or client centric refers to –

Client-centricity is a business framework that fosters a positive client experience at every stage of the client journey. The goal of a client-centric business is to build client loyalty and advocacy. Anytime a client-centric business makes a decision, it deeply considers the effect the outcome will have on its clients.

Essentially being client-centric involves putting your clients first and at the centre of your business in order to build long-term relationships.

The thing is, in today’s digital economy that moves at the velocity it does, it is becoming increasingly hard to build these types of close-knit relationships. Sure, new technologies have allowed companies to roll out changes quickly, allowing them to be more adaptive to changes as and when needed but there’s now an expectation from clients for greater personal attention – if you can adapt that quickly to changes, can you not match that adaptability to client focus?

And there’s some truth in that.

Why is being client centric so important?

It’s clear that the business world is seeing the overall client experience as a key differentiator, with a Deloitte study in 2023 indicating that 78% of companies surveyed view increasing client experience as their highest investment priority. In fact, the study set out that –

Priorities in almost all Client Service areas grow in importance, in particular those related to satisfaction improvement. Client satisfaction improvement is by far the highest investment priority.

Beyond statistics, the proof is in the pudding too. In an article published by SuperOffice

The Temkin Group found that companies that earn $1 billion annually can expect to earn, on average, an additional $700 million within 3 years of investing in client experience.

For SaaS companies in particular, they can expect to increase revenue by $1 billion.

That’s a lot of zeros for simply putting your clients first.

But the client and the client’s overall experience seem to be top priority for businesses worldwide. And that brings us to the one universal concept regardless of what business you operate – if you don’t have clients, your business won’t survive.

It’s really that simple.

From that statement alone, you can venture a guess as to why being client-centric and client facing is so important. An organization that forgets about its clients is destined to fail. They’ll focus on the wrong service delivery, invest in the wrong resources, and lose valuable goodwill with their clients. According to the aforementioned article

A client-centric brand proves quite the opposite case. Every team member listens to clients and is aligned on that goal. In turn, the company builds products that meet client needs, anticipates client wants, and they provide a level of service that keeps clients coming through the door and advocating for the brand.

Become client obsessed, put it on your wall – make it so it’s a team motto, “be client obsessed.” Every team member should know the value by heart, and it should be used as a reference point every day. If you’re deciding on a marketing campaign to launch or if you’re looking at pursuing a partnership, ask whether it will help your clients or benefit your them in any way. If the answer is not immediately in the affirmative, you should generally steer away from it.

That’s the beginning of being client-centric.

Developing a client centric strategy

In doing anything properly in life, you need to have a solid strategy. With client-centric service delivery there are really two ways you can centre the client within your business, they are –

  1. Client-centric marketing – include the client in your businesses marketing. User-generated content, client feedback, and reviews are tactics that can be used in client-centric marketing. The goal of client-centric marketing is to turn clients into promoters that generate new clients through referrals from word-of-mouth.
  2. Clientcentric selling – you may think, as a law firm (and therefore professional service delivery firm) that “selling” isn’t for you. But that isn’t true. You are, in effect, selling your services. And the goal of this strategy is to solve for the prospect rather than sell a one-size-fits-all package. Proactively sharing helpful content through channels like email, LinkedIn, text, and in-person or virtual events is just the ticket. Write about what you have been busy with, write about your latest case, give a little titbit about new legislation that has come into Law, showcase one of your legal-eagles – sell yourself in a way that promotes your specific service areas in a tasteful manner. Content creators like The Legal Belletrist can be a valuable resource in getting your story and your name out there.

That’s all well and good to be sure. Having strategies in place is always a clever idea, it’s how you get things done.

But what steps can a team take to be client-centric?

How to truly become client-centric

Becoming client-centric is a business-wide commitment. It doesn’t just happen overnight. But if you take the following steps, you will find your business on the client-centred road, as adapted from Forbes

  1. Have executive buy-in – client-centricity starts at the top with leaders who understand and care about their clients. When the CEO senior partner values clients more than profits, the attitude extends to the entire firm. It’s about putting the client first. Naturally, the money will come after that. Get priorities straight. From the top down.
  2. Have a culture of client obsession – as we said already, put this on your wall so that it becomes a business culture. What starts at the top with executive buy-in then has to spread to the rest of the company to create a culture of client obsession. Leaders set the attitude for the organization. When they prioritise clients above profits, so will employees at all levels. In a truly client-centric culture, every employee—no matter their seniority or responsibilities—knows how their work impacts clients. They see the value of what they do on the overall client experience and are empowered and engaged to serve clients as best they can.
  3. Collect and treasure client feedback – client-centricity is a two-way street. A company can’t just say they know what’s best for their clients without communicating with them regularly. Client -centric companies not only understand the importance of feedback, but they also make feedback loops valuable parts of their processes and apply client feedback to improve their products and service. There are so many ways that you can connect and gain feedback. It can be done the traditional way through surveys and metrics, but it can also be done through social media, focus groups and in-person meetings. Client-centric companies take that information and make sure the feedback gets it to the right people who will make a difference.
  4. Innovate and offer digital solutions – client trends and demands are constantly changing, which means in order to remain completely client-centric you need to stay ahead of the curve by offering innovative products and service ideas. This may mean going through continual digital transformations – which should be no hassle with the right service provider, like AJS, on board – to offer digital solutions that are seamless and convenient for your clients. Look towards the future and give your clients the things they don’t even know they want, but that add value and convenience to their lives, like apps where they can get up to date information on their matter, without having to get in touch with you (and at a time that’s convenient to them, without the fee attached).
  5. Offer proactive, personalized service – don’t use a one-size-fits-all approach but instead find ways to personalize the experience to each person, including things like connected contact centres so clients don’t have to repeat themselves, personalized recommendations, and individual relationships. 
  6. Make your clients’ lives easier, even if it makes your life harder – truth is, too often, companies fall into the trap of making clients’ lives harder just because they don’t want to work as hard. But truly client-centric companies and firms go above and beyond with things like self-service options, convenient digital tools and even surprising and delighting clients to make their lives easier. They don’t do it begrudgingly or because they want their clients to spend more money—they do it because they genuinely care about their clients and want them to have an easier interaction and better outcome. That’s the real secret to being truly client-centric.

With that said and when it comes down to it, being client-centric is as it sounds – putting your client first. It really is as simple as that. Putting them before the money and the expense and the possible hassle. It’s about putting their needs first and ensuring that their interactions with you are simple, are fruitful and are easy. The old adage about having a “happy wife, happy life” applies to clients too, when you have a happy client, you have a happy working life – interactions are pleasant, carrying out the work is somewhat seamless, you get paid on time and quite amazingly you get referrals. And that friends, is the name of the game and the ardent desire of any legal practitioner – a pleasant practice.

(Sources used and to whom we owe thanks: Hubspot; Deloitte; SuperOffice; Forbes)

– Written by Alicia Koch on behalf of AJS

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