For the longest time, the LexisNexis Client Advisors have been explaining to the InterAction community that the number one key to success is something that on the surface seems obvious and simple, but which very few firms actively devote much time to actually doing - i.e. keeping their existing clients. It sounds so obvious but when firms stop to think about it, like so many things in life, it turns out to be harder to do than to say. It’s harder because every client is different, they have different goals, needs, people and cultures, so in the end firms resort to ‘let’s focus on simply doing good work…that’s all we can control and it’s what matters to clients.
Well the truth, again, is more complicated … it’s a ‘yes’ and ‘no’ situation. Yes, clients value quality legal advice combined with technical acumen; but at the same time no because with so much competition simply doing good work is no longer enough. Key clients want to understand how your firm differentiates itself from all the other firms out there (who also deliver quality legal advice combined with technical acumen) if they are going to stay with your firm in the long term.
Creativity and a little configuration can help your firm shine
InterAction can be configured to hold supplementary information in additional fields, but few firms think about the fact that every user has a contact record setup in InterAction and that these contact records are ideally suited to holding details of your fee earners’ experience and expertise (which can be very valuable information when responding among other things to Requests for Information from Clients and prospective clients). This experience and expertise information regarding your firms’ fee earners could of course be held in the InterAction Opportunities or Matters modules. However if your firm doesn’t have either of these modules (or it does but you feel that holding this information in the users’ own contact records makes it more accessible and therefore more likely to be regularly updated) then with a little imagination and configuration you can both improve the value of InterAction and at the same time capture unique and valuable information that could help to differentiate your firm. Making that information available to relationship managers when they most need it such as when they are explaining to clients or prospects will be what makes your firm different to all the other firms out there.
Cross sell to become more sticky
Another approach that can help to make your firm stand out in the minds of your clients is to improve the breadth, depth and strength of relationships you forge with key stakeholders at each client organisation. InterAction has always been a relationship intelligence solution that helps you understand who knows who at key clients. With InterAction IQ, this has been taken to another level with strength of relationship scoring that can dynamically change over time depending on how often that relationship is nurtured by your firm. However, firms that strive to cross sell multiple services are simply stickier…they are harder to replace than firms that supply just one service. Furthermore, firms that have strong relationships with several senior executives in a client are much more likely to be retained than firms with only one good relationship.
But how do we know what areas of work we are conducting with every client, I hear you say? Well adding additional fields into a contact profile and then integrating your CRM solution with your time and billing system to pull across financials can highlight where you have ‘white space’. A more simplistic approach to this would also be to state in your additional fields which types of work you deliver to a client in their contact record. Business Development plans can then be drawn up to target installed base with new products and services that they currently do not take from you. In sales speak, it’s called ‘grabbing the low hanging fruit’. It’s easy to configure this in InterAction and can help your firm avoid missing out on work that you really should win and much more cost effective than targeting a completely new client and convincing them to give your firm a chance.
Configured appropriately, InterAction can deliver information that otherwise gets overlooked. It enables you to build stronger and broader relationships and deliver a ‘call to arms’ when aspects of key client information seem to be weaker than it should be. Again, it’s simply a matter of a little creativity, a little configuration and a little effort. My advice is to speak to your Client Advisor; our team is devoted to helping our customers more effectively configure and use InterAction. Our objectives include helping your firm to get more out of InterAction.