Your blue ocean in law: How to get ahead of the game and thrive

Coffee with Hannele Korhonen: Happy customers and happy lawyers. Episode five.

Beat the competition.

Beat the competition.

In business it’s a survive or die mentality, right? There’s only so many customers to go around so we need to fight for them. And when we win the customers, the competition loses.

The thing is, thinking there are only “so many” customers is a self-limiting belief that will keep you stuck, and your law firm won’t grow.

When I took a new approach to business growth and looking at the future, my law firm flourished.

So, what was my new approach?

I made the competition obsolete.

It’s called the blue ocean approach. Have you heard of it? It’s competing without competing. Instead of offering the same thing as everyone else and wondering why you’re not getting new customers, you’re offering a new way of delivering legal services. Something the other firms haven’t thought of yet. 

And it starts with a remarkable customer experience.

Coffee with Hannele Korhonen: Happy customers and happy lawyers

Join me each week for my Live session for law firm owners. You’ll hear about client experience and client-centricity in law, how you can be a happy lawyer and how you can get more happy clients too.

 I’m here to help you take your legal business to the next level, with confidence and ease.

 You can catch a replay of Episode five below or join me live and ask questions.

Coffee with Hannele Korhonen episode 5: How small changes in your client experiences can open a blue ocean in law

Blue ocean strategy explained

The blue ocean strategy is based on Renée Mauborgne’s and W. Chan Kim’s bestsellers, Blue Ocean Strategy and Blue Ocean Shift.

A blue ocean strategy is about making your competition irrelevant by finding your own blue ocean. It’s finding your niche in legal services, starting with your customer experience.

Lawyers and the red ocean

In strategy language, traditional law firms are swimming in the red ocean.

“Red ocean means a market that is saturated with service providers who are difficult to distinguish and share the same cake over and over again.” 

These lawyers are prisoners in their own business model and they compete against each

other for the same clients. 

A blue ocean is a new market with little or no competition. For lawyers, it’s about finding an untapped market that no one else is serving.

And it’s not as hard as it sounds.

There are enough opportunities for everyone, including you. 

How?  Focusing on client-centricity and remarkable client experience. 

Client experience as the key to your blue ocean

I know you’re thinking, c’mon, “customer experience”, we all take care of our clients.

But do we?

When was the last time you mapped your customer journey and touchpoints to see if they were frictionless and understandable?

Is your website easy to navigate? Is it written in language people can understand? Is your contact form easy to use? Are all enquiries answered within 24 hours?

Simple questions, but they make a big difference to how a potential customer thinks about you before they’ve even spoken to you.

There’s an untapped market in offering a remarkable customer experience. (And I don’t mean expensive coffee and holiday gifts. I mean making the law relatable and easy to navigate. How could we miss this?)

Think of the legal industry from a client’s perspective. Are legal clients empowered and happy with their interaction with the legal profession?

They’re not. The market is overloaded with dissatisfied legal consumers. 

It’s got a lot to do with client experience.

  • Legal services are difficult to find and buy 
  • Lawyers are difficult to approach 
  • You must be well connected to buy legal services – know the right people and understand how the system works
  • And once you’re in, it’s still difficult to understand and make right decisions
  • And let’s not forget that bill, many times unexpectedly high. Money is always an issue for the client, big or small

Most people don’t seek legal advice to resolve a legal problem. The percentage is 77% in the US according to the World Justice Project Report 2019. 

Just think about the size of that untapped market! We’re talking about billions. 

For you this means that each leak is a new opportunity for your service or a product. 

The traditional lawyer-centered way of doing business is not sustainable, so don’t waste time going down that route. Copying the old ways that are not serving your niche.

This is good news for you. You can find your blue ocean by doing things differently and creating a client-centered law firm that goes all in on designing great client experiences. 

What kind of a client experience would your clients need and want from you? How could you make it easier for your ideal clients to handle their legal problems?

By making this shift to blue ocean strategy you are not competing against anyone, you are serving a whole new market. One that has never existed. 

The how: Find your blue ocean

Here’s some practical advice from the Blue Ocean Shift.

Ask clients who aren’t buying

The first shift is to talk to your clients without an open file. The ones who aren’t buying.  Ask why they’re not buying? What’s their frustration? What should you do differently for them to buy?

There’s your hidden treasure, where to start to change your law practice. And new potential clients.

Second shift is to replace your benchmarks.

The way to find a fresh approach and shift your mindset is to stop looking at competitors

in the legal industry. Because if you look traditional law firms – how they run, what they look like, their services and how they serve their clients –they’re all copies of each other. They’re everywhere.

These firms swim in the red ocean. They are the red ocean. In the market full of

bloody competition for the same clients. Don’t go there. Why would you even want to? Repeating something you already know won’t work for you?

Instead, benchmark outside the legal industry. How are other industries approaching and serving their clients? What could you learn from them?

The seeds of innovation are waiting for you right around the corner!

Offer your clients the uniqueness of you

And the third shift.

You know the one thing your competitors do not have? It’s you. You as a person, you as a

brand. It’s time you start leveraging that. 

Running a law firm is a human to human business. Both you and your clients are people

with a personality. Why not let that shine through and become part of your business as well? Why not let your clients be real?

The world needs more humans being authentically who they are. And at the same time making space for others to be who they are. 

So I invite you to take this third shift as another challenge. How can you be more you and connect with your clients in meaningful ways? 

Can you see something here for you?

Could you see any opportunities here? There are law firms around the world embracing the blue ocean strategy. They’re building their business around their clients.

It’s not a fad or a trend. The world is changing, and legal consumers are demanding more. There’s

an enormous untapped market of people using Google to solve their issues. How could you change the way you deliver your services to attract them?

We explore this in detail in the Lawyers Design School. I’d love to see you there.

Want more happy customers so you can be a happy lawyer? Stay tuned

In the coming Live episodes, you can catch more practical tips on where to invest your business development efforts, finding new clients and finding happiness as a boutique law firm owner.

 Want to join me? Every Wednesday at 8 am ET you can find me at @lawyersdesignschool

on Instagram, where you can ask any questions you have.

 Would you like to chat? Drop me an email at [email protected] While you’re here, take a peek at the Lawyers Design School and discover other ways to use

customer-centric thinking to grow your law firm and thrive in your business.

Catch the replay: Coffee with Hannele Korhonen: Happy customers and happy lawyers

Watch all the Happy customer and happy lawyers episodes.

Are you ready to dive into the blue ocean and forget about the competition?