Optimizing Client Service: Delivering Value and Enhancing Experience

In a low growth, low demand market where competition is only getting fiercer, holding on to clients has to be every law firm’s priority. And when it comes to client loyalty, legal expertise and a strong track record of results just aren’t enough. 

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  • Publication date: July, 2017
  • ISBN: 978-1-78358-296-9


In a low growth, low demand market where competition is only getting fiercer, holding on to clients has to be every law firm’s priority. And when it comes to client loyalty, legal expertise and a strong track record of results just aren’t enough. They are, in fact, just table stakes for any firm that seeks to compete on a more sustainable platform than price. What sets a firm apart in today’s market are the intangibles: empathy, inimitable client experience, and the sort of value that doesn’t show up on the bill.


With contributions from a wide range of authors working within legal services and beyond, Optimizing Client Service examines how legal services firms can achieve competitive differentiation through outstanding client service, including: designing and implementing a robust, business-wide client feedback program; developing their understanding of the client experience; and innovating in its truest sense, to deliver empathetic, valuable service. 


“There are one hundred lawyers lined up who can do the work. I want to work with the one that understands my business, understands my needs, and makes my life easier.” Fortune 100 in-house counsel


The book is split into four parts, each focusing on a different aspect of optimizing client service:


Part One: Know Your Client

  • Designing a robust client feedback program
  • Developing a plan to make best use of client feedback
  • Client success through better intelligence
  • How KM can give clients more value


Part Two: The Client Experience

  • The role of client journey mapping in building sustainable competitive advantage
  • Using Net Promoter Score to learn what your clients really think of you
  • Creating an effective Client Value Proposition
  • Pricing and client perceptions of value


Part Three: Client Service Innovation

  • The astounding pleasure of service
  • Being a client’s business partner
  • The client service mind set
  • Case study: Client Service Technology and Innovation


Part Four: Client Loyalty

  • The science behind building client engagement and loyalty to the firm
  • Client Loyalty: Delivering exceptional client service (Advice from master rainmakers)
  • Case study – The link between client experience and loyalty
  • From valuable to invaluable – How to add value to client relationships


Nathaniel Slavin
Nat Slavin is a founder and partner in the Wicker Park Group. He regularly advises law firms on client service strategies and has conducted client feedback interviews with more than 500 clients on behalf of law firms. He also leads law firm client teams, trains lawyers on all aspects of building client loyalty, and advises individual lawyers on leadership and client development. He has authored more than 100 articles and frequently speaks on client service, client loyalty, and trends in the legal industry. He served as publisher of InsideCounsel and held various editorial and management positions at the company from 1992–2006. Nat is an elected fellow in the College of Law Practice Management and a Legal Marketing Association (LMA) Hall of Fame Inductee. He served as president of International Board of Directors LMA in 2007 and as a board member from 2003–2007 and is the 2017 president of the West Region. He has served on the board of directors for Across the Table, Open Books, Poder Learning Center, and Shift Worldwide.
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.
Harriet Creamer
Harriet Creamer has over 25 years of experience of working in the legal services sector, both as a client lawyer and in management. Harriet trained, practiced and became a partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus Derringer, where – having become the City of London’s first PSL – she headed up their knowledge management function, developing and managing knowledge services across their worldwide network of offices. Since leaving Freshfields, Harriet has been a director of Outer Circle, a consultancy she established with a colleague to provide knowledge management and practice development advice, principally to professional services firms. She has extensive experience of helping firms use their knowledge strategically, both to strengthen client relationships and drive profitability. She also advises firms on how to ensure that their knowledge management activities are aligned to and support the delivery of their strategic business objectives and that they derive value from their investment in knowledge management. She regularly works with partners and groups of partners to help them identify and prioritize the development of key knowledge tools for their practice areas. Harriet is an experienced presenter and a regular speaker at KM conferences and other events, as well as writing regularly on aspects of KM for the legal press. She is a member of the Law Society’s Standing Committee on Company Law.
Douglas McPherson
Director, Size 10½ Boots
Dr Alicia Fortinberry
Alicia Fortinberry, PhD (Organizational Psychology) has gained global recognition for her powerful, lasting impact on top-tier law and other organizations and leaders. Drawing on the latest science of human motivation and change, Alicia enables firms to shape strategy and build the right leadership, performance and diverse, cohesive culture. Alicia’s clients include internationals such as Herbert Smith Freehills and Allens Linklaters and major national and mid-sized law firms, as well as many Fortune Global 500 corporations. With her partner Dr Bob Murray, Alicia received the highly prestigious American Science Achievement Award and was appointed to head the US government’s comprehensive national work stress initiative. Their latest book, Leading the Future: The new human science of law firm strategy and leadership (Ark Group, London), guides leaders to apply the latest science to areas such as navigating a firm or practice group through rapid change, managing high performance teams, and understanding the needs and motivators of clients. With Bob she also wrote two international best-sellers Creating Optimism and Raising an Optimistic Child (McGraw-Hill, New York).
Dr Bob Murray
Bob Murray, MBA, PhD is an internationally recognized expert in strategy, leadership, influencing, human motivation, and behavioral change. Bob’s insights are based on his wide experience in business as well as his deep knowledge of research in the areas of management, psychology, genetics and neurobiology. Clients include premier global law firms and mid-sized firms in Australia, the UK and Europe, alongside many Fortune Global 500 corporations. With his colleague Dr Alicia Fortinberry, Bob won the American Science Achievement Award and was appointed to head the Obama Administration’s comprehensive national work stress initiative. Bob’s latest book with Dr Alicia Fortinberry, Leading the Future: The new human science of law firm strategy and leadership (Ark Group, London), shows the potential impact of the new science of being human on organizational success. With Alicia he is also the author of the international best-sellers Creating Optimism and Raising an Optimistic Child (McGraw-Hill, New York). Dr Bob has lectured at Sydney, Melbourne, Duke, Tufts, South Florida and California State universities.
Andrew Hedley
Andrew Hedley works with the leaders of law firms on issues of vision, strategy, and change. He established Hedley Consulting in 2005 after almost a decade as the business development director of two UK top 20 international law firms. His practice is recognised as a leading boutique strategy consultancy within the legal sector.  Andrew is a recognised expert in the field of law firm mergers. Whilst working within private practice he was a member of a small strategy group tasked with pursuing M&A opportunities which led to the execution of a number of significant mergers as well as numerous early-stage negotiationsand evaluations. He has carried this expertise through to his consultancy practice and now advisesfirms at all stages of the merger process – from creating initial strategy, to candidate firm identification and evaluation, through the full negotiation and business case development process and, finally, postcompletion implementation strategy and delivery.
Peter Lane Secor
Peter Lane Secor is the director of strategic pricing and project management with Pepper Hamilton LLP. Mr. Secor concentrates on legal project management with a focus on improving effi ciencies through shared management responsibilities, strengthening communication and making value transparent. His expertise includes client/matter profi t analysis and providing partners with performance evaluations from a fi nancial perspective.
Megan Heltemes
Director Strategic Account Management, Elevate Services, Inc. 
Eric S. Meltzer
Director of strategy and pricing at Lane Powell
Patrick Fuller
Patrick Fuller is the vice president of business development for Neota Logic, Inc., based in New York City. With nearly 20 years of experience in the legal profession, Patrick is often referred to as one of the leading experts and pioneers in legal competitive intelligence (CI), particularly in the art of translating big data into intelligence for business development (BD) and organizational strategy purposes. Previously, Patrick served as the director of legal analytics for TyMetrix and ELM Solutions, helping legal departments to design and implement analytics and metrics management strategies. Prior to joining TyMetrix, he served as the vice president of product & market strategy for legal technology company Content Pilot. Additionally, Patrick was a senior consultant in the Client Growth Strategy practice with LawVision Group as well as an adjunct consultant with Hildebrandt Consulting, after serving as the global managing director of the Monitor Suite competitive intelligence platform he helped launch for Thomson Reuters Hubbard One. Patrick began his career in the legal industry with Martindale-Hubbell.
David H. Freeman
David H. Freeman, J.D., a former practicing lawyer, is the award-winning CEO of the David Freeman Consulting Group and founder of Law Firm CultureShift®. He is a best-selling author, speaker, consultant and coach who has shown thousands of managing partners, group and department leaders, partners, counsel, laterals and associates how to become better leaders and rainmakers.   For three consecutive years, David was recognized nationally as the top “Law Firm Business Development Consultant and Coach” in National Law Journal surveys, and for over twenty years, he has worked with hundreds of law firms world-wide, including over 1/3 of the AmLaw 200. David has authored three other books in the area of law firm leadership and business development: The Law Firm Leader’s Reference Guide for Creating a Business Development Culture; Secrets of the Masters: The Business Development Guide for Lawyers; and Weekly Reminders for Revenue-Focused Leaders, and he has written dozens of articles on the revenue-related aspects of leadership, service, strategy, and business development for many of the major legal publications.   David is a highly rated speaker, trainer and consultant who presents at firm retreats, law firm networks, bar associations, law schools, and law firm leadership conferences. His expertise has been recognized by his peers as evidenced by appointments as: An elected Fellow in the College of Law Practice Management The exclusive business development coach for the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) Co-Chair the 2010 Annual Conference for the Legal Marketing Association (LMA) A former member of the Board of Editors for Marketing the Law Firm (an American Lawyer Media publication) A former member of the Education Committee of the Legal Marketing Association   In his work as the founder of Law Firm CultureShift®, David helps firms transform their culture of business development. His main areas of practice include leadership training and coaching for firm leaders; accelerated cross-selling; business development training and coaching; client service training; retreat design, speaking and facilitation; and business development culture assessments.
Andrea Maciejewski
Director of client engagement at Levenfeld Pearlstein, LLC
Mark Medice
Mark Medice is responsible for strategic marketing and new program development at Intapp, helping law fi rms to achieve client success using metrics and actions, exploring innovation in client service. Prior to Intapp, Mark led the Peer Monitor program at Thomson Reuters, consulting with law fi rm leaders on topics like fi nancial competitive intelligence and benchmarking, industry performance, rates, pricing trends and strategy, profi tability, among other metrics. He is a licensed attorney and also worked throughout his career with Morgan Lewis, IBM, and Procter & Gamble.
Paul Williams
Partner, Shook, Hardy & Bacon (based in Kansas City)

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