Client Listening: Why it Pays and How to Do it

Future-proof your firm by embedding client relationships, and anticipating client needs. 

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Description

“Client listening is the single most important marketing activity.”  - Paul Amit, Head of Sector and Client Marketing, DLA Piper.

Forward-thinking firms know that listening effectively to their clients is crucial for improving client service, value, retention, and, ultimately, profitability. 

It can also help future-proof your firm by embedding client relationships, and anticipating client needs.

Managing Partner’s report, Client Listening: Why It Pays and How to Do it, will show you how to design and implement effective client listening programmes and act on the intelligence gleaned to secure these critical benefits for your firm. 

It highlights the important factors that must be considered before launching a client listening programme, and offers practical advice to ensure its success. Topics include how to:

  • Identify the role of client listening within your firm’s broader CRM and BD initiatives;
  • Overcome typical objections from individual lawyers to engaging in client listening;
  • Determine the type of client listening activities which best fit your firm’s culture, budget, timetable, and purposes;
  • Design and conduct effective client questionnaires and interviews (how-to guide included); and  
  • Ensure client feedback is reported, shared, absorbed, and converted into action appropriately.

Real-life case studies from DLA Piper, Ashurst, CMS Cameron McKenna, K&L Gates, and KPMG reveal how firms are currently using client listening as a means to deepen client relationships and develop more responsive, value-added services.

Useful appendices are also included to assist you with the design, launch, and fine-tuning of your own client listening programmes. These include:

  • A client listening planner;
  • A sample client invitation; and
  • A sample discussion guide for a client service review.

Contents

Chapter 1: The trend in favour of client listening

Chapter 2: The benefits of client listening

Chapter 3: Positioning client listening in context

Chapter 4: Obstacles to engaging with clients

Chapter 5: Selecting the best listening method

Chapter 6: An explanation of key techniques and how to handle tricky situations

Chapter 7: Ensuring that feedback is useful, user-friendly, and used

Chapter 8: Time to act

Check our Executive Summary and full table of contents here

Authors

Sally Dyson
Sally Dyson is the founder and director of Firm Sense Limited, a consultancy specialising in providing client listening services and client relationship management advice to law firms. Sally qualified as a solicitor and practised at Slaughter and May. She then worked as an in-house lawyer for nearly a decade before moving on from the pursuit of law to establish Firm Sense. Sally combines expertise in client listening with an in-depth understanding of the legal market to advise law firms on aligning organisational practices and individual behaviour with specific client needs in order to improve client retention, win business, and improve profitability. Sally is an Affiliate Member of, and is regulated by, the Market Research Society. In the context of optimising client relationships, she has developed particular knowledge on the topic of law firm fees and is the author of an Ark report entitled Budgeting and Negotiating Fees with Clients: A Lawyer’s Guide. Sally is also a regular speaker at public conferences and private workshops and is a contributor to professional journals. Sally can be contacted by email or at Firm Sense Limited. For more information please visit their website.

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