How To Improve Client Engagement In 2020

All legal advisors
10 December 2019

De-cluttering, healthy eating and saving money might be top of many personal new year’s resolution lists – but why not consider your professional resolutions, too? Taking time to reflect on any frustrations you might have is a smart way to head into 2020 pro-actively. Are there any daily tasks or wider business goals that you’re struggling to address and progress? Is prioritisation becoming problematic?

Whether it’s 2020 or 1920 – Private Client business success boils down to (unsurprisingly) happy customers. Having clients that will continue to use your services, recommend you to their professional and personal networks and even publicly promote your services (testimonials on your website, for example) will be the gift that keeps on giving to your business. But how do you create these loyal ambassadors who consider you to be the best, the most trustworthy and the most capable? The answer: Client engagement.

You already know you can deliver a high-quality service – but it’s the details in between that make all the difference. From initial contact to post-service follow up, every client touchpoint should be reviewed, developed – and in some cases, created (or even erased!). It’s all about streamlining and tailoring your communication with them – making them feel valued. Making a Will and other associated legal documents is an extremely personal process – so it’s important to ensure your entire client service is tailored to them.

The Customer Journey

The best starting place is to map out your customer journey via key touchpoints.  There are 2 key considerations here: -

  1. Are there steps where there is no value added to the process such as the re-keying of data? Repetitive tasks that could easily be completed using technology? How can you eliminate these steps to give a smoother process?
  2. Where can you improve the process to make it more client-centric and, in particular, a faster turnaround without affecting quality?

Other considerations include:

  • How are clients and prospective clients discovering and contacting you? What are these interactions like?
  • Are they asked to provide any information at this stage?
  • Do you follow a standard template when it comes to enquiries? Or are you more responsive?
  • Do you ask how they heard about you?
  • Are you logging any frequently asked questions?
  • Do you proactively promote your services? Do you attend events? Rely on word-of-mouth? Run marketing campaigns?
  • How much of your business is ongoing from existing clients?
  • Do you send appointment reminders and follow up with next steps after a meeting? Are clients clear on the process?
  • How do you manage service expectations? For example, do you list your office opening hours in your voicemail, on your website?
  • Is communication consistent across your team and marketing platforms?
  • Does your website have clear calls to action? Does it quickly provide answers e.g. a list of services, location, contact info? Is it mobile-friendly? Optimised for search engines?

Reviewing and refining your business processes to improve client communication and ensure continual engagement is essential in improving efficiency and enabling growth within your Private Client business. Upselling to happy clients is a lot easier than selling to new ones.

So how do you eliminate the re-keying of data and repetitive tasks?

First of all, you can look to your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or Case Management Solution (CMS). Not every client is the same, so a personalised service is a key element to ensuring happiness. One of the most efficient approaches to enabling this is to familiarise yourself with CRM/CMS software. Offering a central base for key client information (contact information, purchase history, interactions log, etc), this software will present key client data via a digestible dashboard. Tailor your communication with them based on their preferences, ensuring consistent interactions are delivered before, during and after the instruction process. You can automate a large proportion of this via triggers e.g. a website form submission. 

There are many solutions out there if you don’t already use one and many specifically for the legal sector. These platforms can help manage your client relationships and workflows. Send the most appropriate email to suit their interests, offer them any relevant discounts or incentives to remain or return, set up time-saving automations based on their interactions. The options for reviewing your client data and improving your engagement with them are endless. You don’t have to be a huge firm to benefit – most providers offer packages to small businesses, as well as individuals.

Secondly, look into API Integrations with your CRM or other technology that you use. For example, Arken.legal has developed an API to ensure a seamless transfer of data. API integrations are a fantastic way of having one version of the truth for your customer. Input details into your CRM and see them in Arken Professional. The resulting documents can be downloaded back into the CRM. A great solution for you to have the best of both worlds: we provide expert Will and drafting solutions; we let CRM providers do what they specialise in.

Thirdly, streamline your data capture. From our research, up to 50% of time within the Private Client sector is spent re-keying data. Hard copy fact finds are used and then re-keyed. Instructions are taken and then re-keyed. Technology can – again – help with this. For example, Arken.legal has released Arken Acquire: a digital fact find that captures data from your clients, which is then used in the drafting of key estate planning documents. You can now simply email a link to your client and they can input their information relating to their dependants, marital status and assets and liabilities, which seamlessly goes into Arken Professional for drafting. The process is sped up, re-keying is reduced and data is automatically captured. Once received, you'll be able to assess the level of complexity of your client's requirements, allowing you to allocate the most appropriate resource to them. It’s also a highly effective lead generation tool that can sit on your website and social media channels, gathering lead data that also filters into your Arken Professional account. The more data you have, the better you can tailor your engagement, especially when it comes to allocating the most appropriate person to their requirement and speeding up the process. (Book a demo here)

Don’t forget, however, the beauty of conversation. Pick up the phone to your clients!

As we know, there are numerous digital platforms in which to engage with clients and prospective clients on – your website, email marketing and social media being popular choices. However, don’t forget the ‘old fashioned’ route. It’s incredible the amount of insight you can gain from one phone conversation (you could even log your call details in your CRM). Not only that, but many clients will appreciate the personalised call. Everyone wins.

Ask your clients

One of the key ways of understanding how you can improve is to ask your clients how you are doing.  Don’t fear customer satisfaction surveys or Net Promoter Score (NPS) programmes as it is better to understand where you are falling down, so you can do something about it. A complaint can be easily turned into an opportunity to delight, so ensure your clients are encouraged to give feedback at any point. You will also find out what you are doing well, who in your firm is succeeding and delighting clients and the impact of any changes you make.

Your staff are your brand

If you own a business or are part of a wider team – you all need to be on the same page. Your staff are your brand and any interaction a client has with a member of staff is an opportunity for them to delight or (unfortunately) disappoint that customer. They will walk away with an image of you and your organisation from that one interaction. A CRM will help with internal communication around client accounts and service. A regular staff meeting to cover off any new legislation updates, company news, upcoming events, customer feedback, new services, etc, can ensure everyone is clear on what they are (and aren’t!) communicating to clients.

In summary

If you’re looking to grow your business, you can improve your sales and marketing but don’t forget the critical element of client engagement. Make happy customers who will come back time and time again and will recommend you to friends, family and colleagues – a virtuous circle!  

 

Wishing you all a happy and prosperous year ahead.