Be Cost-Effective and Valuable!
Tight budgets don't mean you have to cut corners.
Give your clients what they want and deserve: top-notch service that is cost effective and worth every penny!
Is this what you offer your clients?
Better yet, is this the type of service your clients perceive they're getting?
If there is some uncertainty here, then it's time start thinking about ensuring a good ROI for your clients. Deliver results, but make sure clients know just how cost-effective you're being on their behalf.
Here are five ways to get started.
1. Tap into intelligence resources.
Don't even think about beginning your research from scratch. Ask around first. Check with colleagues, the firm's librarian and in the firm's intranet to determine where you can find precedents or memos that you can build from.
What you provide to clients must add value, even in routine tasks.
2. Manage expectations about expenses.
Be honest and open about the project scope, staffing and budget expectations. Develop a communication plan for each phase or milestone.
Talk about how the budget might affect the approaches you take, the options clients will have and the possible outcomes. Doing this may prevent you from spending time going down a road the client doesn’t believe is important relative to the cost or risk.
3. Utilize project management tools.
Litigation matters in particular will be managed much more cost-effectively if you evaluate the merits, outcomes and risks at the outset. Doing this can help you produce a preliminary assessment of damages, devise better strategies, manage costs and enhance the chances of more favorable results. Key dates, decisions, case facts, prior disputes, key witnesses and experts and all other information about the dispute should be kept in a database and regularly reviewed and updated. This will also help you track time and budgets.
4. Use technology to the client’s advantage.
Look for technology tools and that can streamline project management, litigation management, case assessment and task estimating.
You can also use collaboration tools for larger clients to facilitate document and information sharing. Try to use the same software as your clients for exchanging reports with them.
5. Don't be afraid to outsource.
Many clients and firms now outsource legal research and other routine work to contract providers in the United States or overseas. Talk to clients about whether they do this and how it is working for them. Also, look inside your own firm to see if there are more cost-effective ways to get administrative and even legal research work done, and how you can pass those savings on to clients.
Clients don't want to bear the brunt of your inefficiency.
Set a fair price for your legal services and DELIVER RESULTS AT THAT PRICE! In the end, clients want to see that you're getting the job done while being open, honest, and COST-EFFECTIVE!
Article adapted from Aligning Pricing and Value to Win More Business by Susan Saltonstall Duncan.