« Should Time Spent Managing the Firm Count in Partner Compensation Systems
| Is There a Number One Tip For Improving Client Service?
Sep 01, 2009
Staying Ahead on Retainers
I do a good job of collecting initial retainers before doing work for my family law and criminal clients. But then I fall behind on retainer replenishments. Do you have any thoughts or ideas?
This is a common problem I hear from clients in all practice areas. Here are a few suggestions:
- Try to collect a larger retainer initially.
- Actively push the use of credit card.
- If it is capable, set your time and billing system to alert you when you are at say 85%-90% of time used. Some systems will alert you when entering a time sheet after this level has been reached.
- Have someone assigned to review your Work in Process Report daily to identify any client reaching the 85%-90% level and notify you accordingly.
- If more work is to be done insure that the client is promptly billed for additional retainer before work reaches the 100% mark.
- Consider billing the client electronically if this is a method that works for the client.
- Postpone work until an additional retainer is received. If this course is chosen insure that this does not violate any ethical guidelines or responsibilities.
The key here is assigning someone the daily responsibility of monitoring retainers, having a good time and billing system, and using the managment reports from the system to stay on top of retainer useage.
John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC
Posted at 03:23 PM in