Outside the legal industry journey mapping isn’t a new concept, in fact it is used by many companies to drive growth and better understand their clients. However, within the legal arena, this is something that has not yet been widely embraced. Journey mapping can help you better understand existing and potential clients, help with improving your client’s journey experience and ultimately help you differentiate yourself from your competitors.
Journey mapping illustrates each point of a client’s interaction with your firm and provides you with a better understanding of what the client goes through as they engage with both their solicitor and with your firm as a whole. Client journey maps tell you all of the stages in your client’s relationship with you, and they allow you to be able to take a careful look at whether your direction and approach is suitable. They will encourage you to look at the entire lifecycle of your client and helps you to identify every point of contact between your law firm and your client. It’s a useful tool that allows you to identify gaps in your marketing, sales and service processes.
What is a client journey map?
In its simplest form, it is a document that tells you:
- how people find you
- how and when people engage with you
- the relationship stages between you and your client (good and bad)
- when clients become ex-clients
- how past clients can become repeat clients
What does a typical client journey map questionnaire contain?
- You need a typical client ‘persona’ and need to describe where possible, the client’s personal and business situation now (present situation) and in the future (ambitions).
- Client relationship map: describe all relationships by answering the question: what do we do for them; who deals with them? what do they do for us?
- Outcome: describe the client’s desired outcome - what are they trying to achieve?
- Client journey: list all actions that the client has to take to reach the end outcome.
- Touch points: underneath every action you should list all channels and touch points services the client encounters. Not just yours!
- Moments of truth: identify the moments the client encounters your touch points.
- Service delivery: underneath every touch point, write down who delivers the service. Who is directly responsible for it?
- Emotional journey: you need to ascertain from your questionnaire, how the client felt during their journey with their point of contact and with your firm? Use a scale from 0 to 10. The higher the better experience.
- Improve and innovate: if you are getting low grades why? what can you do about it? how can you improve? Use creative, brainstorming techniques to improve your client’s journey experience.
Why is a client journey map essential to my firm’s content strategy?
Content strategy starts with planning and journey maps should be part of that planning stage. It is essential because it tells you exactly where you have content that touches all of the stages of the journey, and at the same time it also tells you what all of your gaps are. It is a simple way of stepping back and really understanding what your clients are going through either with you or with your competition. It reminds you of the need to add value, everywhere possible. Once you have done the work necessary to create a client journey map, you can analyse your existing content and it is quite likely that your content leaves a number of gaps. It is important that you identify and rectify these gaps.
But many firms end their mapping process there — at the point where a prospect becomes a new client. However, you should never think of a new contract as the end of the client journey, after all it could be the beginning of a long relationship. So your journey map should also explore what goes on during the client engagement, what happens between engagements, and how you can encourage former clients to become reliable sources of referrals and to become repeat clients.