BTI Consulting Group hosted a webinar last week detailing findings from its 2011 Litigation Trends survey. My favorite slide of the presentation was titled “Clients Blind to Law Firm Changes.”
The slide depicts a two-bar graph. One bar reflects the percentage of litigators who believe they are delivering more value to clients. The other depicts the percentage of clients who say they are getting more value. The findings are revealing: More than a third of litigators believe they provide more value to clients, yet less than 12% of clients say they are getting more.
What’s more, it is client service and satisfaction — not depth of experience, reputation and legal skills — that are driving litigation hiring decisions by a margin of 2-1, according to BTI.
Where does your firm stand? Here are a couple ways to find out:
1) Ask your clients. If you don’t have a formal client service plan in place, get one. If your current program has fallen off the priority list, move it back up to the top.
2) Talk to each other. Identify specific ways in which you and your colleagues have solved a problem that is unique or different. Define areas outside of your legal expertise that your firm offers clients that others don’t.
3) Create a plan with specific goals around value and execute on it. Once that is done, ask clients to validate your efforts.
It is time for law firms to do a gut check. Are your lawyers truly bringing more value to clients or do they just think they are?