Here’s How to Build A Winning One, Grow It, and Optimize Performance to Ensure Buy-In
As the legal industry continues to get more and more competitive, firms find themselves under constant pressure to deliver best-in-class services to an increasingly disloyal, cost-sensitive audience and gain a competitive edge. That means stepping up their game and bringing in sophisticated professional staff who can offer and support a more holistic view of each client.
Client Service Teams (CSTs)—more typically found in B2B tech and financial services organizations—have emerged as critical entities within law firms to provide highly personalized service to clients; foster stronger, longer-term relationships through more streamlined communication; and drive revenue. The use of client relationship data tech like Introhive has also become a key part of CST operations, enabling law firms to streamline their processes, manage referrals, and improve cross-selling—all of which are critical to a healthy, thriving bottom-line.
Here’s our guide to establishing, expanding, and evaluating the effectiveness of your law firm’s CST to win in the short-term and build for the long-term. This is a major level firms can and should pull to enhance clients’ overall experience while boosting and maximizing not only revenue, but your brand’s overall reputation as well.
The Structure of a Winning Client Service Team in Legal
The ultimate goal of a Client Service Team is to increase sales and loyalty by growing existing Clients; bringing in net new opportunities; delivering a positive and seamless client experience; centralizing client communications; and delivering reliable results. This requires a variety of very specific roles that all work together to serve clients in a cohesive and effective manner. And while not all clients will require a CST and the size of your CSTs can and should vary depending on client significance and needs, there are a few key roles to consider.
The “Relationship Partner”
This role within a CST nurtures enduring client relationships, collaborates with sales and marketing to design growth strategies, and monitors competitors to enhance the firm’s position. They manage the client relationship end-to-end, optimizing profitability and satisfaction. Occasionally, integrating client-side partners into meetings enhances mutual understanding.
Business Development (BD) pursues new clients and broadens services for current ones, while marketing enhances the firm’s visibility. BD leans on marketing for brand consistency, while marketing uses BD for lead cultivation. Both units stay updated on client needs and ensure lawyers understand their distinct roles.
Junior partners in a CST enhance client satisfaction through legal consultation, research, and case evaluation. They possess unique legal expertise that others in the CST might not have.
New, Lateral Hire(s) with Relevant Expertise
Lateral hires bring specialized skills, enriching BD and marketing by attracting high-value clients, identifying growth avenues, and strengthening the firm’s standing in specialized legal sectors.
One or More Additional Associates/Lawyers
Incorporating additional associates bolsters service quality and infuses Marketing and BD strategies with specialized legal insights.
A dedicated research/pricing associate can boost profitability and client experience. Researchers identify experts for cases while pricing specialists guide on profitable ventures. A billing coordinator can preempt billing issues, preventing potential client relationship pitfalls.
Client Service Team North Star: Cross-selling and Revenue Generation
As evident by the various functions and benefits of CSTs detailed above, these entities within a law firm setting are huge drivers of revenue and cross-selling opportunities, and therefore stand to contribute heavily to overall firm health and growth. CSTs have been shown to improve client retention, grow accounts, and optimize referrals—all of which play a critical role in a firm’s overall success.
Client relationship data tech like Introhive can play a vital role in the success of a law firm CST by:
- Dismantling Silos: Introhive showcases lawyers’ contacts and relationships, allowing Marketing and BD to optimize opportunities.
- Identifying Ideal Introducers: With quality data, firms can pinpoint the best person to introduce a potential client, increasing conversion rates.
- Automating CRM Data: Given that lawyers seldom use CRMs, tools like Introhive transfer crucial data directly, bypassing manual inputs and driving revenue. It educates legal professionals on CRM benefits and promotes efficient business management.
- Streamlining Client Interactions: Using data tools, CSTs can enhance client interactions, eliminating redundancies and ensuring clients receive tailored, attentive service.
Measuring CST Performance for Maximized Results
For established or emerging CSTs in law firms, it’s crucial to employ KPIs to gauge and refine their function. Without showcasing consistent value, firms may hesitate to allocate resources to sustain or expand CSTs. Tools like Introhive should demonstrate a positive ROI by enhancing CST efficiency and outcomes.
Some KPIs you should focus on when measuring CST performance include:
- Revenue growth
- Client profitability
- Number of practice areas involved with each client (the more, the better)
- Number of pitches made, and the success rate of these
- Number of relationship touches per client and how this relates to revenue
- Client satisfaction scores
Navigating Challenges in Legal CSTs
Legal CSTs, despite their diligence, may confront issues such as data management, limited collaboration with lawyers, and the need to demonstrate their value. Leveraging the right technology can mitigate these hurdles, streamlining operations, boosting results, and ensuring firm commitment. The goal is to enhance revenue, nurture client loyalty in a competitive market, and ensure sustained growth.
Embracing CSTs: The Law Firm’s Future
The legal services landscape remains relentless. Firms that capitalize on CSTs will lead by offering unparalleled client experiences, shattering operational barriers, bolstering their brand, and amplifying revenue streams.
CSTs help eliminate client confusion from redundant tasks, alleviate stress from overburdened lawyers, foster attorney retention, and ensure smooth transitions during key personnel changes.
But like anything worth doing, it won’t be easy. Harness the power of Introhive to equip your new or existing CST with the data it needs to operate with maximum efficiency and effectiveness. Your lawyers and partners will thank you. Get started today.