Client lifecycle management (CLM) provides the framework to understand and proactively manage clients throughout their journey with a law firm. It helps organisations truly understand clients beyond just compliance, so that they can provide the best services and manage risk over time.

Introducing a client lifecycle management framework can help you change the way you approach your client journey to benefit your business. Here are a few of the ways that client lifecycle management can help give you focus on bringing iterative improvements to your client journey. 

Optimising onboarding is key to knowing your client 

CLM gives you the tools to look at your client journey beyond onboarding, but that doesn’t mean that onboarding isn’t a crucial element of ensuring your client lifecycle is set up for success.

Onboarding is where it all starts. It’s the point at which you not only meet regulatory requirements for client due diligence, but it’s also where you learn important information about your client to provide the best services.

Your onboarding process should be the point at which you lay the foundations for building the client relationship, and for setting the standard for the services they can expect to receive from your firm. Maximising the client experience at this stage not only benefits your customers, but it also allows you to get the information you need quickly and efficiently, allowing the firm to move to billable work as quickly as possible. 

Looking beyond onboarding to understand how risk profiles change over time 

CLM has been described as “ongoing onboarding”, extending KYC throughout the client lifecycle so you always have the most up to date picture of the client you’re working with.

As soon as you’ve completed due diligence on a client during onboarding, those data points immediately begin to degrade. Information may change, as well as the situation, meaning a client’s risk profile may shift and change as the relationship continues. This is where technology can really help.

Setting up AML monitoring or creating alerts when identity documents are about to expire can give you peace of mind that you’re always working with the most up to date information. With this, you can re-evaluate your client following your firm’s risk based approach, and determine whether any additional services or actions are required. 

Technology to help deliver great client services at low cost

At its core, CLM is about leveraging technology to help bring efficiencies and value to your client interactions.

Consumers have become accustomed to being able to interact with services online, and they are coming to expect the same level of experience from their advisory services. Investing in digital experiences doesn’t need to require huge IT implementations, and there are no-code solutions that can be quickly and easily added to your technology ecosystem.

Streamlining client interactions with technology saves you time spent chasing clients for information, and for your clients waiting for an appointment to hand over documents. That means you get the information you need quicker, so you can focus on delivering billable services faster. 

Mapping the customer journey gives you insight into performance 

To truly understand how to improve your client experience, you first need to make sure you have a complete picture of your client touch points throughout their lifecycle with the firm.

This includes client intake and onboarding, all the way through to matter resolution and referrals. Once you’ve captured all of the different interactions between your firm and your clients, you can then begin to scrutinise your performance. How long does it take your firm to complete a new client onboarding? How long is your client having to wait to get information from your firm?

Once you’ve identified these metrics, you can then begin to prioritise where changes are needed. Resolving any bottlenecks and ensuring clients can communicate with your firm quickly and efficiently are ways you can improve your clients experience. 

Focusing on your client experience helps you drive revenue 

Adopting a strategy to manage your client lifecycle may not seem like the most immediate way to bring revenue into your business. But creating a seamless process across your customer journey, such as onboarding and payments, can bring huge improvements to your firm’s cash-flow.

As an example, providing a way for clients to pay digitally means your fee earners aren’t spending time taking and chasing payments, freeing up their time. Online payments can be completed quickly and easily, meaning you can take and reconcile payments from clients faster.

Ultimately, your clients are what brings revenue to your business. So maximising every interaction with them not only brings value to your client, but also helps to optimise your internal processes to focus on delivering billable services.