I was shocked this morning to read about the alleged cutting of half of Westlaw’s Library Relations Staff in the Geek Law Blog. During a conversation last night a friend and I discussed the fact that often businesses don’t plan well for “What if?” That’s human nature but as a business it is a necessity.
Comfort is a great thing but getting too comfortable when you are running a business leads to lots of problems. A few of those problems include lack of attention to what allowed you to grow in the first place: marketing, relationship building and attention to base operations.
As Westlaw is rumored to cut half of the Library Relations positions, they seem to be forgetting the relationship part of business. With more competition from Open Sources or affordable alternatives to legal research sources, frustration with increasing prices or poor performance or whatever else might be endangering the retention of business with a client, Thomson Reuters is self-inflicting further pain. The Library Relations teams for both Westlaw and LexisNexis were fundamental to happy customer service when I was in the firm and I’m pretty sure it still is for my fellow law-library colleagues.
If any business begins to damage the key relationships with their customers, retention is endangered. Bottom-lines often need to be viewed in the long-term not the quarterly or annual cycle. Of course this is only the opinion of a very small business owner with very small client base where each client relationship is critical to my own success. My clients are very important to me and I will meet their needs to the best of my ability every time. Big or small businesses who adhere to that philosophy will profit.