"The pace of change has never been this fast, yet it will never be this slow again."
Justin Trudeau, World Economic Forum, Davos, 2018
The legal services market is facing more change than ever before. To keep up, never mind ahead, is a complex, often disruptive, and increasingly expensive business. It is all too easy to fall into a vicious circle of stagnation and decline, arising from a lack of client focus and commerciality.
THE RETREAT TO SAFETY
Increasing client expectations, coupled with intense competition for work, leads to:
Unrealistically high workloads
Pressure on fees
Shorter time frames
Insecurity throughout the workforce
Which all leads to a marked regression to old fashioned "safe" and inefficient working practices, thereby stifling innovation, creativity and any chance of consistently great client service
Consequently, client service levels dip to what was the norm in times gone by, leading to:
Advice needing to be clarified or deciphered by an already busy client.
Work needing to be re-done at no cost to the client
Further downward pressure on fees/recovery
Erosion of client loyalty
At best, the client will be unhappy. At worst, they will look elsewhere. As an added blow, they certainly won't recommend your firm to others
As client expectations are missed, your people will feel the brunt of the client's dissatisfaction.
They will inevitably become:
They will take time and money to manage and/or replace, disrupting business continuity, thereby making it even harder to meet client expectations
And so the downward spiral starts again