Raise Your Rates without Raising a Client Exodus
In today's economy, in order to stay viable many law firms are raising their rates. But the decision to raise rates often comes with one anxiety-filled question: Will this drive away clients?
While rate hikes aren't popular with clients, it's a matter of survival for your firm.
Also read: Are You About to Lose a Client?
So is there a magic formula for increasing rates without driving out clients? Unfortunately, no - but the following strategies may be a huge help to your bottom line AND healthy client roster.
1. Keep the rate hike steady.
If you're raising rates, raise them to a level you'll be happy with for a while. Clients can better deal with an increase if they know the new rates will hold steady for a while. Frequent, little increases create uncertainty.
2. Give short explanations.
Be prepared to hear the question, "Why?" Your clients are going to want to know why you're raising your service rates. Have an explanation prepared. Keep it short, straightforward, and easy to understand. Make certain that everyone on your staff knows what to say as well.
3. Reach out personally.
Take some time to personally contact some of your most important clients to explain the rate change. Don't let them get the news via email or when they get their bill. A price increase will be big news to your clients so, understandably, it should be communicated by a partner or top executive in the firm.
Also read: How to Get More Business from Your Clients
4. Prep your team.
No doubt many clients are going to be unhappy with news about a price increase, so make sure your staff is prepared to answer some angry inquiries. Make sure to show compassion for the irate onslaught they will endure. Also, make sure they understand the issues, the tradeoffs you considered, and the message behind the rate hike. Communication is crucial!
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