Client Surveys and Audits

Something interesting happened recently.  Jeff Carr, Nicole Auerbach and I consulted with a client about how to improve the law department’s performance and save money.  Shortly afterwards, Nicole and I consulted with a law firm about moving to alternative fee arrangements.  The interesting thing was that we found ourselves enjoying being consultants.  We found,

Long-time readers know I believe the answer is "of course."  Seth Godin lays out both sides of the argument is a recent post and urges people to choose one approach or the other.  Actually, you choose to invite criticism or you automatically default to the option of not doing so.  While the reasons for not

It is year end.  Have the senior managers of your firm visited your firm’s most important clients this month?  Has there at least been a phone call to each of the primary personnel you deal with at key clients?  If not, what on earth are you waiting for?  You should be looking for opportunities to

Over the weekend, I was cleaning out some old files on my computer and I ran across a slide show I had put together for a presentation on client service.  I thought I would post them here.

There were two over-arching points to the presentation that are worth reminding yourself of everyday:

1.   You need to know what your client thinks about you.  In detail. Not asking, assuming you know, drawing inferences–those approaches are for losers.  Ask.  Ask aggressively, by which I mean you should frame your questions in ways that are design to elicit criticism.  You must never lose sight of the truth that no lawyer is perfect. Because that is so, every client should have criticisms are suggestions on how you can improve performance or the delivery of value. 

2.   The second truth is that if you hear the word "fine" (as in, "everything is fine"), understand that you’ve just been sentenced to death.  And if you doubt me, remember this post the next time you’re out at a restaurant having a mediocre or worse meal, and your waiter asks how everything is, and you answer with "everything is fine."  You need clients who are more than satisfied, more than pleased.  You need clients who are advocates, who think you are so great that they want to have legal problems just so they can deal with you. 

Certain companies have effectively branded themselves by providing such extraordinary products and services that they become the standard by which competitors are judged.  If your service firm is not the benchmark by which others in your industry are judged, you have room to improve, and improving enough to become the industry benchmark should be a focal point of your efforts.  Anyone who is not the standard is at grave risk of losing clients.

 


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