In most businesses, there are really 4 ways to grow the operation:
- Increase the number of customers;
- Increase the transaction frequency;
- Increase the average value of each revenue generating interaction, and;
- Increase the efficiency and effectiveness of each business process.
For plaintiff firms, scratch Number 2. Though some clients are repeat clients, your firm cannot count on repeat cases from the same plaintiff.
Number 1: Increase the number of clients/cases the firm handles. The importance of getting more clients for your firm in a cost effective manner is paramount. All efforts should be made to assure that the firm is retaining a very high percentage (92 %+) of the clients that reach out to you through your current marketing efforts. Prior to expending more marketing money to reach additional “new” client leads, all efforts should be made to market back to your current list of clients who have come through your firm. This may sound curiously like attempting to increase the frequency of a profitable interaction with the same client; however, the marketing touch here should be targeted to asking them for a referral of new clients who may need the same type service as the client that has passed through your firm. We believe that a past client should be touched, in some way, 7 times per year….and, always with a specific ask for referrals. This practice of touching will keep your brand in front of your best referral sources, as well as reminding them of the great experience they had while working with your firm. (I am assuming it was great…see number 4 below. Do you have an effective client experience process?)
Number 3: Increase the average case fee. Do you know your average case fee per case type within your firm for the last 12 months (or any selected period)? If not, you should. This base knowledge will allow you to measure improvement as you apply the proper systems to potentially increase these average fees. These systems would include:
- Ranking incoming cases initially and at 90 days into the case in order to assure the bigger cases are handled by your best attorneys;
- Systems that allow for potential application of value drivers to cases (MRIs, injections, surgeries);
- Knowing your firm’s Pareto point fee value (the lowest case fee dollar amount where 80% of your revenue is produced);
- Pushing these cases with potential values above the Pareto point to your top attorneys, and;
- Creating a committee of your top attorneys to review your top 20% cases.
Number 4: Increase the efficiency and effectiveness of each process within the firm. Have you considered how a case makes its way through your firm? From the time the lead is received (by phone, web, or walk-in) until the time of resolution and then an ongoing marketing cycle, each process should be examined applying industry best practices and assuring an accountability system is in place.
So there you have it….there are only 3 ways to grow a plaintiff firm. Simple…but not easy.
Ignore them at your peril.