Manage Client Perceptions of Value
Value is in the eye of the beholder. In our legal services world, that means it is the client’s perception of value—not the lawyer’s—that matters. We can only demonstrate the value of our legal services if we understand what is important to our clients and what specifically they deem valuable.
Wicker Park’s client feedback interviews over the years have consistently revealed the following factors rank highest on clients’ “value” scales:
- An in-depth and up-to-date understanding of the client’s business
- Predictability and consistency in the lawyer’s delivery of services
- Compliance with the client’s communication preferences, including mode of communication and amount of communication
- The ability to offer a broad range of pricing models, not just straight hourly billing
- Project management: “Plan your dive, and dive your plan”
- Value-added services such as in-house training, extranets, introduction to potential customers, etc.
- Transparency in the relationship
In our everyday world, an individual might buy office supplies based primarily on price, groceries strictly on the basis of personal taste and clothes as fashion dictates. One person will define value differently as it applies to different goods and services.
Likewise, in the legal services world, the same client may purchase commodity legal work primarily on price, purchase typical legal work based on effective project management and predictability of costs and purchase the most sophisticated legal projects based on specialized expertise.
How do we find out which of the above categories of legal work a particular matter represents? Have a conversation with your client about the subject and find out!