This year’s 21st Annual Marketing Partner Forum in Naples, Florida has been focusing on redefining client value in a competitive & changing industry. If you were not able to attend the conference, make sure to stop back throughout this week and next as we will be recapping the sessions and sharing content from the event.
Yesterday, kicked off with various pre-conference workshops and champagne roundtables. We were able to attend the “Client Experience – Competing on Service or Using Metrics to Enhance the Client Experience” roundtable, which provided great advice for and key considerations when benchmarking the client experience. Deborah Farone, Catherine McGregor, and Lesley Wan had the following to share:
When measuring the client experience, it is first important to establish what it is that you are exactly trying to measure. Are you measuring your brand awareness or client satisfaction, or are you mining for client opportunities. If it is the client satisfaction that you are measuring what are you really trying to find out more about: the work, the lawyers, the fees, the service, or the overall client experience? You must then decide which clients you will study: legacy, recently retained, or clients with untapped potential? There are numerous ways you can move forward in surveying your clients.
The most important advice they provided, which has been reiterated in numerous sessions today, was that once you get your findings make sure you ACT on them. Share the information with relevant parties both in your firm and outside the firm, report back to the client if problematic issues were discovered and how you will address them, and make sure to capitalize on any unexpected opportunities that are discovered.
INTERACT: How have you measured your client’s experiences and what are some of the biggest challenges you have encountered?
As everyone is settling back into the office after the holidays, this is a great time to take a fresh look at your plans and objectives for 2014. Reflect on your initiatives from 2013 and identify what was successful and where improvements could be made. When creating your plan for this year, consider the following:
Make Your Plan Sizeable and Scalable
It is important to make a plan that is achievable. There is always a multitude of projects that are urgent and at the top of the list. Evaluate each of them carefully and understand which ones are actually achievable. Someone once gave me great advice which is to always under promise and over deliver. If it is unrealistic due to approvals, budget, buy-in, etc. that a project will get accomplished add it to the wish list but don’t promise to deliver on it.
Add Process Documentation as a Part of the Plan
This is going to be another year of a lot of change as the market is starting to pick up again. As personnel change they take along their knowledge of the firm culture, systems, styles, etc. It is key to document and set expectations of processes in your department. For example event planning is an area where a specific process can be created and documented so that as new members join the team the process is not being re-created from scratch with every event. This frees up time to work on other initiatives and tackle some of those wish list items.
Measure, Report, and Share
Measuring and reporting are key to identify success and justify initiatives. When measuring success it is important to understand not only what should be reported but how it should be reported out. With so much content, it is hard even to break through internally. Make sure you are reporting on the things that matter the most. Opt to go with a quick synopsis that is easy to scan instead of that lengthy report, PowerPoint presentation or Excel spreadsheet. Many times reports are created and only shared with select recipients; plan a way to periodically share your teams’ successes firm wide.
Unfortunately and all too often, by the middle of the year the marketing plan that was created becomes more of a marketing wish list. That is why planning ahead and having specific goals for the year are key to your team and own personal success.
We would love to hear from you… what are your firms’ goals for the year, as well as your professional personal goals?