They’re already a part of your firm’s workforce, and soon they’re going to be your most important clients. They’re demanding, they have high expectations and they’ve grown up with Google, which means they’re used to having choice and access to information—they can find out everything they want to know about your firm in one simple search.
We’re talking about millennials.
Not so long ago, you may have pictured this generation as children. But today, some of them are already in their mid-thirties, sitting in your offices and boardrooms and preparing to transition into more senior roles.
So, how do you prepare your firm for tomorrow’s client—the millennials?
We believe there are three non-negotiables that law firms need to embrace in order to get ready for the future, and the inevitable changes that will come with respect to consumer buying behaviour and brand loyalty.
1. ACCEPT the next generation of client.
Whether you like it or not, millennials are growing up. Today, they have more decision-making and buying power than ever before—and that’s only going to increase as the years roll on. But their expectations and behaviour are different, which means you can’t rely on previous (and somewhat dated) marketing efforts to reach them.
Once you have accepted that behaviours are shifting, you can begin to understand what the clients of tomorrow do and don’t want when it comes to legal services. To survive and thrive, your firm has to adapt to change, in order to ensure that you have the clients you need to support your future firm.
2. LEARN from the next generation.
Spend some time getting to know what tomorrow’s client demands. What matters to them? What do they expect? We distil this learning down to three key considerations for tomorrow’s buyers of professional services:
Firstly, tomorrow’s client demands value for money more than ever before.
There’s no loyalty for loyalty’s sake anymore. According to Forbes, two-thirds of tomorrow’s clients will switch firms if they are offered a discount equivalent to 30% or more. You need to have a well-defined value proposition for your whole firm.
Secondly, Brand matters MORE than relationships.
For tomorrow’s client, your law firm brand is more than a sequence of surnames—it even matters more than existing relationships. Your brand must speak to them. According to an e-Marketer study, 60% of tomorrow’s clients feel an emotional connection to the brands they work with, and believe they are defined by those they use.
Thirdly, they expect to see you in the world they know and engage with.
Tomorrow’s clients are buying—and avoiding—services on the basis of what they see in the places they already go (online). Ensure your firm has a presence across social networks and in the online publications your prospects are reading. Know where your audience is and clearly and consistently communicate your firm and its’ services to your marketplace.
3. BUILD for the next generation of client
To ensure you’re ready for tomorrow’s buyers, begin to implement changes to your strategy, brand and messaging now. Tomorrow’s client is different in subtle but fundamental ways, and because they’re less loyal and more informed, you HAVE to get your strategy right. Be in the places they are, communicate how they do and prepare to compete harder for their attention.
Ultimately, legal services providers need to adjust to tomorrow’s buyer. The firms who do this successfully will be the ones who dominate the future market.
If you’re serious about becoming a law firm of the future, we are serious about helping you make that happen. Get in contact, and after a quick conversation, we can tell you how we can get your firm in front of your ‘right-fit’ clients–today and into the future.
Note: this blog is based on our senior partner, Jonathan Philips’ keynote presentation delivered at The Lawyer’s Business Leadership Summit on Sept 26th 2017.