Four Markers Identify At-Risk Clients

On average, law firms experience a decline in billable hours from existing clients at a rate of 1% a month, according to a new study by Redwood Analytics. Eventually many good clients leave, switching to another law firm.

Happily, research shows that law firms can identify clients that are at-risk of leaving, and that firms can control whether they stay.  Here are the four markers that identify whether your firm is likely to retain a client.  This client:

  1. Provides the firm a large amount of legal work.
  2. Has a mature, established relationship with the firm.
  3. Sends the firm work in more than two practice areas.
  4. Has more than two firm partners significantly involved in the management of the client's matters.

No. 3 and 4 are the key indicators.  Firms that successfully cross-sell clients are going to keep them.  On the other hand, firms that allow partners to hoard clients and keep other partners away are likely to lose those clients.

The more varied the legal services provided to a client, the less likely they were to leave. Less than 15% of clients using a firm for three areas of law are likely to leave the firm within two years.  Less than 5% of clients that had retained the firm for four or five areas of law are likely to cease using the firm.  On the other hand more than 35% of clients that used the firm for only one area of law left within in two years.

For the full story, see "Client Attrition Analytics: Firms Can Control Whether Clients Stay or Go."

Trackbacks (2) Links to blogs that reference this article Trackback URL
Stark County Law Library Blog - February 22, 2007 8:56 AM
Posted by Larry Bodine: - March 15, 2007 6:15 AM
A recent study by Redwood Analytics as reported by
Comments (1) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Patrick Hillman - February 26, 2007 3:14 PM

Hi Larry-

Just found your blog today, and enjoyed every moment I spent here. I'm not in law firm marketing, but much of what you write is applicable, generally, in the wider spectrum of professional services marketing. I'm looking forward to returning and possibly contributing as a commenter if the spirit moves me.

My own blog touches on services marketing from time to time, but it's mainly devoted to other more personal topics.


Post A Comment / Question Use this form to add a comment to this entry.

Remember personal info?