To understand a client better, legal managers could generate what we might call “data profiles.” The initiative can benefit law departments, but let’s use a law firm example. The profile would assemble several kinds of figures for a client for each of the past three years. That trend data could include what kinds of work the client generated based on types of matters (and maybe sub-types) including counts, hours and fees. It could show the number of partners and associates who recorded time on those matters. It could tally who at the client called to give assignments and their level. Perhaps there could be data on the email traffic or the conference calls associated with the client. The profile could extend to fee write offs and discounts and to margins.
A finance group or practice group that researches, ponders, and assembles such data will be able to create client profiles, akin to dashboards, and probe trends over time. All kinds of analyses would be invited once the data set has been pulled together.
A “client profile” would be a guideline for the kinds of services the client needs, who its key players are, the direction its business initiatives are going, preferences for firm lawyers, and anything else that would enhance client service and client satisfaction. It could lead to better cross-selling, better use of associates and paralegals, proposals for fixed fee billing, increased client satisfaction, and more. With data profiles, the firm could segment client groups into categories, such as “high maintenance” or “risk embracing” or “transactional.” Once you collect the data, your firm will be able to mine it!