Collaboration Focus: collaborating internally to support the client relationship
Collaboration should be seen as an integral part of any client relationship states Dave Eagle from Law Firm Royds Withy King. In legal we are often guilty of thinking that we are the experts and know what the client needs. However unless we truly collaborate with them how can we possibly know this?
One approach we have found works well is to involve the innovation team in client pitches – not just in the production of pitch documents – but to get them in front of the client to explain the value of the offering and, essentially, get to the nub of what the client wants from their law firm partner.
Of course convincing the lawyers to bring a techie to a pitch can be a difficult task; it’s a niche skillset for a techie to be able to showcase a product, speak in plain language, relate to a client’s business and interpret their needs accurately. Make sure you choose the right person for this as a client could be put off by overly technical language or too much jargon.
Having innovation involved from the outset means the business support teams aren’t blindsided by a legal team promising functionality that cannot be delivered. Being able to gather specific requirements from the client during a pitch is invaluable. Depending on how flexible the technology is it might be possible to customise the offering during the presentation and this will help validate how flexible both you and your product are. This approach also helps demonstrate internal collaboration to the client who may be used to solely dealing with legal teams. Getting this dynamic right can reassure the client that they are choosing a truly collaborative partner.
Once successful (and why wouldn’t you be with this approach?!) be sure to revisit the client and constantly review and update your offering. What is right on day one, may not stay right and it is important not to stand still here – constantly reviewing and updating your offering will cement the client relationship and underline your credentials as a collaborative partner.