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Nine Fundamental Principles of Experience Management Part 1

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As the legal industry becomes increasingly competitive, law firms are recognizing the importance of effectively managing their experience and knowledge to foster collaboration, demonstrate their expertise to clients and win new business. However, firms of all sizes continue to struggle to implement repeatable processes, incorporate new technologies and increase attorney engagement to establish a robust experience management program.    

In this blog post, we explore the first five of nine fundamental principles of experience management that law firms can follow to establish a robust experience management program that helps a firm maximize its collective capabilities, foster a more collaborative culture, and support high-performing marketing and business operations.

Principles of Experience Management

1. Everyone Must Contribute Experience

All professionals should contribute and maintain a broad base of experience to support business development at all levels. This means that an attorney should not just contribute what they think is valuable – such as the few records that appear in their bio – but also contribute a broader selection of matters. This is vital because what may not be considered important or a priority for a senior partner may be extremely valuable for business development for a newer partner, counsel or senior associate.

2. Embed Experience Management into Existing Processes

To increase the likelihood that attorneys will more easily identify and contribute experience, we advise embedding experience management into existing processes such as project management, client service, internal collaboration or business development. It’s also beneficial if other professionals are responsible for holding a partner, team or practice accountable for their contributions.

3. More Information Is Better, But Weigh the Risks

When capturing experience information, there is a core amount of knowledge attorneys need to share on each experience record. The more information that is captured, the more a search can be refined – but the harder it is to get professionals to participate. So beyond the core information that is essential, each additional piece of information must provide significant value to the firm’s goal. 

While it would be beneficial to have as much information as possible for rare intricate searches, beware of asking attorneys for too much information that isn’t relevant to the strategy of their practice or firm. Even with defined responsibilities, the contribution of experience will decrease as the amount of information requested increases, leaving your repository littered with incomplete records – and reducing the attorneys’ confidence in its use.

4. Not All Experience Is Created Equal

Not all experience has equal value, so judgment and management are required when deciding which experience to highlight. When helping firms decide on their key matters, we use the term “best of,” which means the most relevant and important experience. A “best of” record should increase interest, relevance, preference and selection. We then work together with our clients on a process to define the “best of” matters for their firms. This term also provides guidance to attorneys in their contributions of experience.

5. Keep Experience Records Compelling and Consistent

How firms organize their experience records can play an important role in how prospective clients perceive the firm. Ideally, firms should present their experience records in an engaging, persuasive way that is standardized across the firm. This helps ensure records are easy to compare and analyze while still highlighting the most important aspects of an experience, such as the size and complexity of the matter. 

By presenting their experience clearly and consistently, firms can mitigate risks that may arise if attorneys are using different formats or terminology. Plus, potential clients are more likely to be impressed by a law firm that presents its experience in a clear, compelling and consistent way, helping firms stand out from the competition and achieve more business. In addition, marketing professionals working on pitches and award submissions will have an easier time compiling the information.

In our next blog post, we will cover the remaining principles of experience management, including internal and external taxonomy, why internal records should be more expansive than external, how to choose the right technology based on the firm’s needs and the importance of making the records easily searchable and extractable.

About CLIENTSFirst Consulting

If your firm is considering purchasing an experience management system or has already deployed the software and wants to improve results or current experience management processes, CLIENTSFirst can help. For more than 15 years, the consulting team at CLIENTSFirst has been helping professional services firms and other organizations successfully select and implement experience management, CRM and eMarketing systems, and our data quality team helps firms ensure that the data in these systems is clean, correct and complete to enhance adoption and return on investment. We are also always happy to share information, ideas and best practices for success, so please contact us at 404-249-9914 or

About Credo Consulting

Credo Consulting helps law firms maximize collaborative growth through collaboration strategies, disciplined business development, operational excellence and individual coaching.  Credo is led by Clinton Gary, a former Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer for prominent law and Big 5 firms, and an Accredited Partner with Gardner & Co. on the methodologies of “Smarter Collaboration.”  Recognized by The American Lawyer for “Best Law Firm Marketing” and innovations in industry and client teams, marketing planning and budgeting, and experience management, among other collaborative initiatives, Clinton can maximize your firm’s collective capabilities and talents for greater value to your clients, professionals and firm. For more information, contact Clinton at 

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