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A relationship doesn’t end when a cases closes. While this may sound like common sense, but all too often law firms forget that the key to long-term success is not only building relationships during cases, but maintaining them over time.
Attorneys owe it to clients to not only work to achieve the best outcome possible when a case is active, but to follow up, stay in touch and continue the relationship in such as way that the next time that client has any legal needs, the law firm that’s top of mind is yours.
Ignoring relationships is not only poor protocol; it’s also costing your firm money. If they forget you, that’s one easy referral you’re missing out on. We already know referrals are the life blood of any strong law firm, because they cost little or nothing to acquire, they are the most qualified cases, and they are often worth a lot of money. That said, keeping touch with past clients is the most direct path to more referrals. Here are some simple and effective ways to get started:
Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Consider a campaign that uses a mix of complementary CRM arms to connect with a variety of past clients.
Brochures & newsletters: Give them something tangible to read—and remember you by. Use these accepted forms of communication to position your attorneys as trusted experts, thought leaders and the go-to firm in your area.
Cards: Birthday, thank you and holiday cards—with atypical messaging and design that make your firm stand out—are also effective in creating an indelible memory point for clients.
Personalized messages: Build stronger relationships by keeping a few key personal notes about each clients and following up with a veteran, for example, on Memorial Day, or a hard-working single mom on Mother’s Day.
eCRM: Save some trees and reach people right in the palms of their hands with electronic customer relationship management. Use the increasingly dynamic digital environment to connect with past clients via email or electronic-based messaging campaigns.
Social Media: This new frontier was tailor-made for keeping in touch with clients and staying top of mind. It can also be a differentiation since social media remains a sector where few law firms are truly active.
Facebook: Design a weekly strategy for reporting important activity at your firm and reaching former (and new) clients through this dominating influencer in the social arena.
Yelp: Leverage social review communities such as Yelp to better position your firm through positive reviews, engage with reviewers and develop more referral-based business.
Blog: Make your existing website more interactive by creating a blog to reach clients online. Write engaging articles, highlight positive testimonials from past clients and post videos with your own attorneys discussing how your law firm can help.
If your firm is not already keeping up with clients, the key is to start small, build a solid foundation and add new marketing efforts over time.