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What do clients really want?

By Brenda A. Barnes  bio

When you ask clients what they want from law firms, you quickly receive a long list.

Expertise Support Practical advice Good relationship Track record
Client focus Trust Business outcomes Honesty Quality brand
Experience Solutions Responsiveness A good price Guidance
On-time delivery Good communication Easy to work with Quality Cost conscious
Personal care No surprises Know my business Innovation Pragmatic
Reputation Service Keep me up-to-date Fast turnaround Commerciality

Doesn’t it all come down to money?

I regularly hear that law firm clients only pay attention to price. But in my experience, very few clients choose a law firm based on the lowest cost.

Although clients may place a different value on varying qualities, all clients are trying to make the most of the value to them—with value being a trade-off between perceived benefits and price. The only time a client will choose a law firm purely on price is if they perceive the benefits offered by different firms are identical.

Highlight your differences

It is the law firm’s role, then, to help clients understand the differences in the law firm’s offer and why they are valuable.

Compared to other industry services, law firm clients appear less willing to trade off certain attributes for others. They expect firms to have expertise, deliver high levels of service, and invest non-billable time in learning about their business.

According to Jasper in The View from Outside: What the Market is Saying, General Counsels and CEOs are looking for firms that are “nearest the pin.”

This means that the ideal firm is one that has just completed the same matter, in the same jurisdiction, and obtained an outstanding result. If they can’t get exactly that firm, then they are looking for the nearest firm to it.

Customize value

So what does this all mean? There is a significant opportunity. To realize this opportunity, attorneys and law firms need to understand what value means to individual clients and they need to create a customized experience that will deliver superior value to each client.

To hear Brenda Barnes speak more on Legal Pricing, please join her for a webinar on February 22nd. Register here.

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