As much as we can write about changing systems and can encourage you to start your own client care program, it ultimately falls to you to make sure you implement it honestly. It is easy to fall into old paradigms by telling yourself you are doing things differently. For instance, the manner in which we charge our clients is where we are most likely to slide back to the old ways of billable hours. Since it can be easy to predict how long it will take to draft documents, you may find yourself quoting a flat rate based on the estate planning documents you’ll be packaging into a binder. This is billable hours in disguise, and at the same time a disguise for still focusing on documents.
Breaking old habits and stepping away from traditional processes is no easy feat. Establishing a client care program where you will take calls and not charge for your time may sound crazy to your peers. What is not crazy is what will happen to your firm once you correctly and steadfastly implement a client care program: growth. Yes, there will be profit growth from billing for the value you provide, an increase in steady revenue and more referrals from your clients, but maybe more importantly you will see growth in yourself. You will be forming better, more sustainable relationships with clients. You will be growing into the lawyer you have always wanted to be: someone who is a trusted advisor and takes care of families and whose clients gladly pay for the value you provide. You will be ensuring families are taken care of when the thing we all know is inevitable but like to ignore happens: death.
Honestly implementing a client care program will take dedication from you and your team, and it will take a healthy dose of honesty with yourself as well. You cannot hide old systems in new terminology. Establishing a successful ongoing client care program will take actionable change, and it might be unsettling, but ultimately you will thank yourself, and your clients will too.
It is time to shake off the transactional paradigm and don the transformational one. Yes, a client care program is transformational. It will transform the way you do business and the way clients view working with you and the predictable revenues you generate. It will transform the trust administration process and ease the transition for grieving families. We’ve said it before, it is time to get back to relationships. Basing your firm on relationships and opening the lines of communication will enable you to be a successful attorney.
Join us today by emailing our Program Coordinator, Megan Davitt, to sign up for our Foundations Workshop this fall. It’s time to break old habits and transform your practice.
Want to read about the processes and how the client care program was developed? I invite you to read my book, “How an Ordinary Lawyer Creates and Sustains an Extraordinary Client Care Program.” It’s an excellent introduction into the concepts and programs we teach at our Foundations Workshop.