Salesforce’s regional vice president – Salesforce Marketing Cloud UKI Madeleine Storr speaks to The Lawyer about the ways that law firms can deliver the best digital client experience, utilise social media to gain exposure and prepare for the incoming millennial workforce ahead of her session at the Marketing Leadership Summit.
How can law firms deliver a successful digital experience to their clients?
Particularly in the past 12 months where digital has really been accelerated, law firm clients want legal advice to be provided in a way that delivers both the best value and the best client experience for them. It’s that crucial balance between process and technology but with a human touch – always keeping in mind how this will “feel” to the end client. Of course, a robust data strategy is absolutely crucial to delivering those digital experiences, and without it, inconsistency across a firm will impact the relationship. Having access to unified data will drive the decision-making around how the firm should communicate with that client; manage their expectations, confirm their service levels, provide key contextual details and also tell the firm when it’s time to just pick up the phone and connect for a discussion. What we are discovering with our customers in this industry is that most law firms don’t lack data about their clients, but they lack access to it.
How can firms utilise social media for sales and marketing?
The key here is ‘value exchange’. Social Media offers law firms a large opportunity to connect with potential clients and prospects, but only if they get the tone and quality of the content right. Over the past few years we’ve seen a wave of legal podcasts, blogs, even YouTube channels emerge. Notably, a growing number of partners have found their place on LinkedIn – those that do it well use it as a vital medium to connect with potential clients, provide commentary on the industry and share their firms key insights as ‘hooks’. That human element is there and it allows partners to personally engage in the dialogue. Those partners choosing to be the ‘face of law’ on LinkedIn are really offering a new dimension to their firms business development.
In the next 5-10 years the majority of the UK workforce will be millennials, what are the key things that firms need to bear in mind for engaging and retaining millennials as clients?
A focus on just millennials could be short sighted, in my view we need to be thinking about a more diverse, global ‘work from anywhere’ set of clients of which millennials will make up a large part. It is important to adapt as client needs and wants change, this is not something new in marketing. More than ever the next breed of law firm clients will want services ‘on demand’, they will not look for partnership or long term commitment in the same way as today so relying on the strength of loyalty from the traditional client -lawyer relationship would be remiss. At Salesforce we are already seeing shifts in the legal market adapting to modern web users who use a multitude of legal experts throughout their lives, and whose journey will take them from specialist to specialist.
What have been your biggest learnings following having a baby last year and then returning to work?
I had Kingsley in July and had 6 months off after having spent 6 years in the Salesforce business. I think I have grown to become a better, more empathic leader since having my own family, and have (largely) come back into my role with a fresh sense of perspective. Biggest learnings – take time out more often to stay strategic, strict time management is key and expressing vulnerability engenders trust.