What is client journey mapping and why is it important for lawyers and law firm marketers?
Our esteemed guest on episode 5 of the Legal Marketing 2.0 podcast, Yolanda Cartusciello, is a business development and marketing consultant to law firms. She has over 20 years of experience in senior administrative roles in major law firms, including Cleary and Debevoise. Yolanda develops strategies for practice and industry groups, and delivers training and coaching programs, including client journey mapping training. Twitter: @Yolanda_Cartu Website: Bernero & Press
Simply put, a client journey map is a visual of the actual experience a client has in working with any organization. For a law firm, that experience can start even before a prospect becomes a client.
Client journey mapping entered the legal lexicon about two years ago and comes from the phrase “customer journey mapping” used by corporations around the world for many years. It started in retail but quickly moved into professional services.
When mapping out the client’s journey, think individual rather than organization. Law firms tend to think of clients as organizations or companies. It’s important to remember that people are hiring you.
Focus on the person rather than the organization to understand the experience individuals have when working with a law firm. A person with feelings, attitudes, objects, preferences, and a client journey map helps us better understand how, when we interact with this person, from the beginning to the end of the journey.
Don’t be overwhelmed, you don’t have to create a unique map for every single client of the firm. Create personas around individuals with similarities.
Be aware that within one organization or company you may have several clients. And those different clients have different needs. So you need to understand what each client is looking for in order to meet those needs. For instance, in one company you can have an in-house counsel, board director, or procurement officer. They each have different needs when they interact with you at different points during the journey when working on a matter.
Think of journey mapping as a piece of plumbing which can fit into a lot of different situations. It’s a very flexible piece and can be retrofitted in any number of ways.
Client journey mapping can also be applied to your internal team, it can be applied to how you interact with your vendors, or used as a training tool for associates.
How do you get buy in at the firm for client journey mapping?
- Get acquainted with journey mapping. Check out Bernero & Press.
- Focus on revenue generation. In other words, start with your end game: increased revenue: what happens when you enhance client relationships and lengthen the stay of the client at the firm.
- Show how it gives you an opportunity to listen to the clients and then apply the information gathered in a way that helps everyone in your organization contribute to becoming a more client-focused firm.
- Show how journey mapping can be a differentiation in the request for proposal (RFP) process.
- Demonstrate how it helps you to discover what delights your clients, including in-house counsel.
It’s not about a legal competence problem. That is table stakes. In-house counsel hired you because they know you can do the work. Now, it’s about how you work with them – non-legal issues, like project management, emotional intelligence, communication skills, and so on.
There’s a lot more great information on the podcast, including statistics and examples of success to use when trying to make a case for client journey mapping at your firm.