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Client Loyalty Post #1: Will you lose any clients in 2021?

01.13.21 | Susan Duncan

Happy New Year! We are pleased to kick-off 2021 with a return to writing our blog posts. We will be providing excerpts and tips every week from our upcoming book entitled Building Enduring Client Loyalty. Click here to save 10%. Enter code ‘BEC10’ at the checkout.

What is “Building Enduring Client Loyalty” about?

Being a trusted adviser to clients and enjoying long-term relationships is still what many lawyers aspire to.  Client loyalty is increasingly difficult to define, earn and sustain.  Heightened focus by clients on value and efficient, cost-effective and innovative service delivery, and with clients trying to do more in-house and through automation, makes it more difficult for law firms to remain a dominant firm of choice. Firms are seeing increasing numbers of RFPs as well as increased competition from law companies, technology providers and the clients themselves. Clients now employ procurement and legal operations professionals who many law firms see as a threat to their relationships with in-house lawyers because they oversee the law firm selection process and the pricing of fees.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused more disruption and volatility due to short- and long-term effects that upended the economy, social and business norms and activities, forced quarantines and medical crises.  Law firms have been seriously tested through all of this recent turmoil and disruption.  Many firms have proved agile and adaptive but ultimately have not fundamentally changed their approach to client problem solving, service delivery or business model. The question now is whether and how relationships will be maintained and whether loyalty between a client and a law firm will still exist in the “next normal” environment.

This book explores the full spectrum of relationship and service components that contribute to client trust and loyalty.  Despite the heightened focus on efficiency, cost-effectiveness, value-based pricing attached to outcomes and the way services are staffed and delivered, relationships still matter.  Each of the chapters and topics in the book, the checklists, and insights from buyers of legal services will help lawyers and firms hone their relationship and delivery approaches to deepen their relationships with clients and enhance the loyalty they have to them and their firms.

Who else contributed insights to the book?

Given that the topic of this book is client loyalty, we felt it was essential to weave the “voice of the client” into the content.  We were fortunate to gain insights from Lucy Endel Bassli, former Associate General Counsel of Legal Operations, Microsoft, Toby Brown, Chief Practice Management Officer, Perkins Coie, Amanda Bruno, Chief Business Development Officer, Morgan Lewis, Jeff Carr, former Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Univar Solutions and FMC Technologies, Mark Chandler, Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Chief Compliance Officer, Cisco Systems Inc., Kristin Cook, Associate General Counsel, 7-Eleven, Inc. and SEI Fuel Services, Inc., Vincent Cordo, former Central Legal Operations Officer and Global Sourcing Officer, Shell Oil Co., Tom Flynn, General Counsel and Vice President Corporate Strategy, Budderfly, Dr. Heidi Gardner, PhD., Distinguished Fellow at Harvard Law School Center on the Legal Profession and Faculty Chair of Harvard Law School’s Accredited Leadership Program and Smart Collaboration Master Class, Maureen Harms, Associate General Counsel and Managing Counsel, 3M Co., Melissa Lauderdale-Ward, Chief of Staff to Thomas O’Neill, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Exelon, David Mack, Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, Hartford HealthCare, Christopher Marston, Founder and CEO of Exemplar Companies and Dr. Larry Richard, PhD., J.D., Founder of LawyerBrain.

RainMaking Oasis provides consulting and coaching services to law firms and lawyers in the areas of client loyalty and development, business development and growth strategy, collaboration and innovation and succession planning. Please contact Susan Duncan at [email protected].