At Smokeball Spark, Paul Hugh-Jones, Partner at Beaton, presented an enlightening session on how law firms can design a seamless legal client experience that transforms customers into lifelong brand advocates.
Read on and access the full session recap to discover all the valuable insights that were shared.
What is CX?
Client experience, or CX for short, was not a widely recognised term 20 years ago. However, according to research by Beaton, CX can now have an enormous impact on a firm's bottom line. In fact, Paul Hugh-Jones, an expert in CX, believes that it is now considered central and fundamental to the success of professional services firms.
In today's consumer-focused and hyper-competitive market, where clients are empowered with many choices for service delivery, there has never been a greater need to offer an outstanding client experience. A seamless client experience can improve client satisfaction, increase referrals, and lead to repeat business.
Why does CX matter?
So, why does designing a seamless client experience matter in the law industry? In short, CX is a cyclical relationship informed by clients' perceptions and feelings resulting from all interactions with a firm's brand, people, products, and services. Beaton has measured and analysed client satisfaction data for 20 years via large-scale annual surveys called Beaton Benchmarks. Using this deep knowledge, they define CX as "the net value of clients' perceptions and feelings resulting from ALL interactions with a firm's brand, people, products and services," says Paul.
According to Paul, firms with leading CX compared to their competitors grow faster and are able to charge more. They have happier people, better retention, and all-round superior performance. This is critical in the current market, where clients are becoming more selective and informed, continually demanding more value, and more willing to "shop around" for the best service from external service providers.
Data from Beaton's research shows that CX is an essential ingredient for firms to thrive in the hyper-competitive space of professional services consulting. Firms focused on investing in and improving their CX enjoy crucial advantages over other firms in this environment. They tend to have happier clients, more engaged employees, faster growth, average higher fees per job, and more repeat business.
The client experience pathway
There's no denying that we live in an "experience economy." Clients today want to be surprised and delighted, and the law industry is no exception. As consumers, we have far higher expectations than ever, and we expect our interactions to be easier, faster, and even more personalised.
The legal industry has significantly changed shape over the last two decades due to globalisation, the pandemic, and the emergence of smaller, specialised firms with expertise in defined areas. Therefore, client experience culture is the single most powerful and sustainable market differentiator for your firm, says Paul. If you get it right, clients will refer your firm to 20 per cent more people, they are 2.7 times more likely to pay more than they currently pay, and they are 18 times more likely to forgive a mistake.
How the client journey can be transformed via technology
The advent of technology has not only changed where we work but how we work, by automating processes that were previously inefficient and time-consuming. The legal industry has been known for its traditional approach, but with technological advancements, firms have an opportunity to innovate and provide clients with a seamless experience. Paul says the firms that have already prioritised CX are succeeding both internally and externally. They tend to achieve faster growth, have satisfied returning clients, and earn more revenue. Amid a global talent shortage, these firms have also unlocked a key to retaining valuable staff; empower employees in your CX strategy, and they tend to be happier and more engaged at work.
Implementing CX successfully requires firms to not only invest in new technology but to ensure all staff members buy-in to improving CX, not just those in marketing or client-facing roles. As Terri Mottershead, Executive Director, Centre for Legal Innovation (APAC), has stated, "Delivery of the client experience is no one person's job because it's everyone's job." CX is much more than the service.
Access the full recap
To learn more about the importance of CX in the legal industry and how to transform your clients into life-long brand advocates, download the full eBook here.