How Firms Can Foster Collaboration to Enhance Client Service

Today’s clients understand that they need a multi-disciplinary approach to solve problems. They look to a variety of outside advisors, from lawyers to financial analysts to accountants, to help them tackle all the items on their plate. They don’t want to manage their advisors with multiple conversations about the same topic; they want and need collaboration.

At GrowthPlay, one of our mantras is viewing sales as an act of service. Other-centered problem-solving is critical to building a lasting client relationship, and it is often what drives distinction between good lawyers and lawyers who are great business allies. Outside advisor collaboration is one way to incorporate other-focused problem-solving in the client service model.

Acting as a liaison between various advisors is exhausting for clients. Lawyers who consider their client’s different outside advisors as colleagues on the client’s team, rather than competitors, proactively look for ways to coordinate and collaborate with all who are involved in project—making the client’s life easier in the end.

5 Ways Lawyers Can Facilitate Collaboration Among Outside Advisors

Depending on the scope of the client’s outside advisors, there are several ways lawyers can proactively facilitate collaboration among external advisors to improve the client experience:

  1. Getting curious about the client’s full range of needs and the outside advisors on their team. When lawyers ask about the full scope of the client’s needs and their advisors – and not just the legal needs they are handling – they show the client they are interested in building a lasting relationship. Clients want copacetic relationships among their advisors. When lawyers support collaboration with outside advisors, they build further relationship capital with the client.
  2. Suspending self-interest. Lawyers will need to put their egos aside.When lawyers are confident in their role and what they bring to the client relationship, they are more likely to actively collaborate with the client’s full team of outside advisors.
  3. Offering to join meetings as an investment in the relationship. Once a lawyer knows the full range of the client’s needs and who their other advisors are, they can offer to join relevant meetings with these advisors at no charge to the client. For instance, a corporate attorney could offer to listen in on a client’s call with their accountants to establish a rapport with the accountant and gain insights into the client’s accounting/financial needs.
  4. Proactively inviting other lawyers and key advisors to important conversations. Often, clients need multiple outside advisors to be privy to the same information, and they spend time communicating between their various legal counsel and other external advisors – time that they could be spending on other business-critical tasks. When lawyers proactively invite other advisors to meaningful conversations, they show the client that they see the bigger picture and save the client time as well. Lawyers who proactively include other advisors in appropriate conversations establish themselves as business partners and not just legal advisors.
  5. Offering to host a client summit. To effectively collaborate with the client’s outside advisors, it’s helpful to foster camaraderie and build rapport among each other. One way to do so is by hosting a client summit that brings together the various advisors that support the client’s common interests. Clients not only appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with their various outside advisors at the same time, but they will be grateful that they don’t have to do the heavy lift of bringing the group together.

Clients don’t operate their business in a vacuum, and they do not want their lawyers to operate this way. Lawyers who establish genuine partnerships with their client’s outside advisors and take deliberate steps to facilitate collaboration among all team members, show their clients that they know their business and elevate the client experience..