Elevating Client Experience: Relentlessly Executing the Moments that Matter

As the legal sector becomes increasingly competitive, many firms are trying to differentiate themselves through enhanced client experience. Leading law firms recognize it’s not enough to elevate their client experience through marketing alone; instead, these firms take deeply embedded approaches to achieve client satisfaction. To achieve exceptional outcomes, firms must augment these strong foundations with a data-driven, technology-enabled platform.

Understanding What Client Experience Means for Leading Firms

Leading firms understand that they must nurture the client experience through impactful moments across all tiers of the organization. These moments can’t be managed by one individual or at one point in time; rather, they must form part of a continued, conscious effort driven by the firm’s culture and tone.

Recognizing that client experiences often touch different parts of the firm, leading firms have rewired themselves to create teams responsible for the end-to-end client journey. Client experience, like any human relationship, is based on trust and confidence and underpinned by key elements, including:

  • Empathy
  • Communication
  • Transparency
  • Common purpose
  • Healthy conflict-resolution mechanisms
  • Connection during moments of shared hardship

Defining Client Experience 2.0: The Intapp Vision

When it comes to client experience, one factor sets leading firms apart: relentless execution. Firms need a strong understanding of their clients’ priorities throughout their journeys; they must always keep these priorities front of mind and consistently deliver in the moments that matter.

A client-centric culture is a cultural force to be reckoned with, but — as any business imperative — there remain vast opportunities to infuse augmented client experiences with technology.

Across the client journey, we have identified four common moments that matter and pinpointed how these moments can be best delivered by a connected firm — that is, a firm that elevates professionals and delights clients by uniting people and processes with data-driven technology.

1. Cultivating Relationships

What clients want:

“I want my legal services provider to invest in my relationships with both the firm and my organization. The firm should live and breathe my business, and help my business grow by connecting me to relevant contacts and networks.”

How a connected firm responds:

  • Strategic alignment of investments toward client-focused resources (e.g., people, processes, data, technology, and relationships) establishes client relationships as long-term assets.
  • Capturing of the latest news about clients and disseminating it to team members in real time facilitates an augmented experience for clients, enhancing the firm’s reputation as a trusted adviser.
  • Technology can surface both broad and granular insights into all client touchpoints. These insights are vitally important to understanding how the firm engages with a client at every level. To manage a strategic relationship with a client in a truly holistic way, firms should use this data to pinpoint influential client stakeholders on a real-time basis, keep tabs on the progress of all working matters, and identify how the firm supports strategic client objectives.
  • Firms can more broadly apply who-knows-whom analyses to find likeminded individuals at other noncompeting organizations to connect with clients.

2. Identifying the Right People and Expertise

What clients want:

“I want a team that fits our organizational culture and environment, and offers the right expertise.”

How a connected firm responds:

  • The firm builds pitch teams that mirror clients’ diversity and tone.
  • Team composition drives better client outcomes by promoting diversity of thought, identifying the most relevant experts, and supporting equal opportunities.
  • Lawyers working within novel areas of law can automatically capture and resurface their expertise in experience management systems, ensuring that the firm is always up to date on who’s best poised to deliver and win a matter.

3. Executing Accurate Matter Pricing and Delivery Scheduling

What clients want:

“I want to understand the fee structure and delivery schedule for my engagements. The firm should adhere to these structures and schedules as closely as possible, and provides me ample visibility into potential overruns.”

How a connected firm responds:

  • The firm can accelerate analysis of similar-matter traits from current and past clients using historical matter management data, such as team-member experience, existing relationships with named client stakeholders, cost rates, and utilization of named resources.
  • The matter management board provides internal stakeholders visibility into summary matter progress.
  • Early-warning systems make recommendations on the likely matter pace and its implications on timeliness or budget.
  • The firm broadens its capacity to perform performance measurements across more matters.

4. Resolving Issues and Conflicts

What clients want:

“If things go wrong, I want the firm to handle impacts and changes — such as budget, scope, or deadlines — swiftly and reasonably.”

How a connected firm responds:

  • Significant concerns can be escalated to senior, independent partners within the firm who confirm remedial steps.
  • The firm can capture insights and client feedback through team sessions and feedback systems, and incorporates those lessons and key themes into updated work processes to ensure resolution tracking and to quickly upskill future team members.
  • Consistent themes across client criteria (e.g., clients in the same sector or geography) shed light on cultural principles, which can support the way work is done.

Putting Client-Centric Vision into Practice

Nurturing a culture of client experience doesn’t happen overnight. It requires relentless focus on client success and empowering your individuals to play their part in building relationships. Firms that achieve this vision are poised to stand out among their peers.

To gain a better understanding of how your approach compares with that of leading law firms, please get in touch with the team at Intapp Strategic Consulting.

Written by:

Kian Poon

Director, Strategic Consulting

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Sonali Verghese

Associate Consultant, Strategic Consulting

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