Competitive advantage is particularly important in the legal field. Because the market is saturated in most geographic areas, competition is particularly fierce among law firms. As a result of their wealth of options, clients have come to expect a great deal more for the price when it comes to securing the services of an attorney.
Furthermore, they tend to approach each available candidate with a tremendous amount of scrutiny. After all, if you are looking for legal representation, you may have a great deal riding on the outcome of your search!
So, how do you claim a competitive advantage for your firm?
1. Optimize for Frictionless Firm Operations
Take a long, hard look at your law firm procedures and processes. Just how efficient are they?
Although your clients certainly realize that quality legal services are valuable and cost a significant amount of money, they are also likely to demand a great deal of productive activity during each billable hour. Increasing efficiency in your firm’s processes can give you an advantage by allowing you to fit more into billable hours.
One way to make your firm more efficient across a broad spectrum of departments and processes is to employ a comprehensive digital professional services platform such as BQE CORE. BQE CORE can help you automatically track and invoice all of those precious billable hours! BQE also offers practical advice on how to streamline operations (or become a “frictionless” law firm) in areas that range from acquiring client referrals to handling regulatory matters.
2. Develop & Promote an Effective Brand
Considering the vast number of law firms, it’s important to foster and maintain an exceptionally strong and highly visible brand image as a law firm. Everything from your firm’s name and logo to its website and advertising should clearly communicate its unique values and capabilities in a manner that is compelling to your target audience.
It is important to understand that, even if you have never mounted a branding campaign, your law firm still has a brand in the mind of your existing and prospective clients. Start developing your brand by examining your firm’s mission statement and identifying your core values as a business.
What do you set out to do, and what do you believe is important for accomplishing that mission? These are things you may already have in mind, but documenting them and communicating these on your website, social media, and other marketing initiatives lets others know immediately who you are and what you value. Your mission and values will resonate with potential clients who need your help.
3. Attract & Keep Top Talent
No matter how critical you are about your firm’s operational processes, you must approach each potential team member with an equal amount of scrutiny. It is essential to remember that your law firm is only as good as its individual team members.
It may be tempting to reduce workforce costs in favor of maximizing your available resources and boosting your overall profit margin, but your law firm will never gain an outstanding reputation without the right team. By offering competitive salaries and benefit packages to your staff members, you can gain an advantage over other law firms in your area. This is true not only of attorneys but of junior associates, paralegals, and other professionals who play supporting roles.
Developing a strong brand and core values as a firm like we mentioned previously can help you attract top talent with the same values and passions in addition to attracting new business.
4. Emphasize Human Touch & Customer Service
When people search for legal representation, they want the warm reassurance and personal investment that can only come from invested human interaction. In other words, clients want to feel valued and respected. While it’s important to accurately present the services you offer in your marketing campaigns, you also need to emphasize your understanding of clients’ concerns and communicate how your firm is reliable both in legal expertise and support for their worries.
To do this, you might include stories on your website, like testimonials from happy clients who felt their concerns were heard and addressed by your team or stories from your team of why they pursued careers in your firm’s field. These communicate the emotional value of your firm to potential clients and convey superior customer service, which can set you apart from other law firms.
If you want to gain a key competitive advantage over other law firms, you have to know your own firm, as well as its specific values and goals, inside and out. After thoroughly assessing your firm’s strengths and weaknesses, you can begin to focus on the specific strategies that will give it the overall edge in a highly competitive market.