Any strategy designed to create long term; happy client relationships has to start way before the client becomes a client.

For any relationship to work there must be a meeting of minds and that means that what you say you are, you must be. Your messaging on your website, in adverts, in any interaction designed to attract a potential client, has to be clear and accurate. Your engagement with the prospect needs to be candid and open, and any discussions must be followed up with a confirmation email or letter setting out what is being agreed, clearly and specifically. This must then be reflected in the contract, or engagement terms.

The point is- if you bring onboard a client and there is mismatch of expectation, you are setting that relationship up for trouble. It’s like online dating- saying you’re 6 foot 2 when you’re a foot shorter than that will not hold up when you actually meet…

So, you’ve agreed things clearly and confirmed the terms- next thing is to deliver on promises made. And that goes for both parties- don’t be afraid to speak with your client early on if they are doing things which cut across your agreement. If those things slide and become the accepted norm, it’s very difficult subsequently to pull them up and get things re-established.

In that respect- are your people empowered to call such things out? Do you encourage engagement not just for such procedural monitoring, but also for generally friendly and constructive reasons?

We now have around 140 staff which gives us a sizeable cohort for processing our clients’ work. It’s great for resilience of service, but we do ensure that each client has their own specific small team. It’s not a faceless machine, and having interactions between specific individuals and the client makes everything better. Everything. There’s give and take on both sides, because there is an actual relationship. These engagements can be ad hoc as part of day to day interaction, but they should also be regular, more formal engagements. Review meetings- they can be brief but are so important in building that longer term approach.

We survey our clients for an NPS score. We chat with them about service. About any issues. About the things we are doing really well. We understand their ambitions and aims, and as a result can often upsell other or increased services.

We have clients who have been with us since day one, 15 years ago. It’s because we’ve learnt that these relationships, just like in life, need clarity, openness, and engagement.

Alex Holt, Chief Revenue Officer, The Cashroom

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About Cashroom

Cashroom provides expert outsourced accounting services for Law Firms including Bookkeeping, Management Accounts and Payroll services. Our mission is to free lawyers from the complexities of legal accounting by supporting the industry with accurate management information and allowing lawyers to do what they do best – practice law.