ChesterNewMatter4thQtr2021 - 23

CCBA Feature
www.chescobar.org
Solving for Downward
Pricing Pressure
Without Sacrificing Profit
By Patrick Rodgers, VP, Marketing at Lawyaw
O
ne of the things we hear regularly from the
thousands of lawyers we work with is that there
is increasing pressure to reduce costs for clients
- and that sentiment has become more common in the
last year. But lowering fees rarely seems like a sustainable
solution for firms who are also trying to manage
increasing costs and new challenges.
What's a lawyer to do?
Three Ways to Improve Value for Clients
1. Diversify your Service Offerings
Rarely does a one-size-fits-all approach work in the
legal industry, but that doesn't stop many firms from
pricing services as if every potential client is a complex
matter requiring a five-figure retainer. Recognizing
where you can right-size services based on client-specific
requirements is one easy way to help clients feel like
they're getting the best possible value for their spend.
Using an example from estate planning (although this
logic applies to plenty of other practice areas), some
clients will only require a basic will, healthcare directive
and power of attorney. That client's needs can be met
with a couple of documents and relatively little time from
staff. Other clients will need several consultations to sort
out trusts, requirements for charitable giving and more
details. If you're not already offering tiered pricing that
recognizes those differences, that can be an easy place
to start.
2. Improve Internal Processes
Just because you've " always " done something a certain
way doesn't mean that's automatically the best way to
do it. Times change (along with staff and technology),
and if you're not periodically reassessing whether there
are better ways to deliver services at your firm, then it's
almost guaranteed there's room for improvement.
Process mapping enables you to visualize each step in
your internal processes by identifying who is responsible
for different operations and where decisions need to
be made. By mapping out each step, you can easily see
where you have bottlenecks and other inefficiencies.
Once you know which processes are underperforming
(wasting staff time or causing pain points for clients),
you can create a plan of action to make those run more
smoothly.
3. Leverage Technology
As you consider your service tiers and internal processes,
one of the keys to successfully improving profitability is
ensuring predictability of service delivery. If you're going
to offer a less expensive version of an existing service like
an estate plan, the key to making it profitable is knowing
that the firm is able to consistently deliver the same
product in a repeatable manner. This is where technology
like document automation can help solo, small and midsize
firms solve for downward pricing pressure.
Legal documents are the foundation of your practice
- from fee agreements to invoices and everything
in-between - so it makes sense to consider how easyto-use,
no-code document automation software like
Lawyaw can help you deliver your existing documents
more quickly and avoid errors compared to manual " find
and replace " methods. Rather than making more time
in the day, it's a matter of using the time you have more
effectively.
If you can deliver the same quality documents and
services more predictably and more efficiently, then it
allows your firm to operate profitability. This enables
you to price your services based on the value you're
delivering to clients rather than trying to shoehorn
different sizes of projects into a pre-determined number
of hours. You can deliver higher-quality services and
documents faster than the competition. That's something
clients will notice.
New Matter | 23
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ChesterNewMatter4thQtr2021

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