Header graphic for print
Legal Marketing Blog A blog dedicated to lawyer marketing in any size law firm

Exceeding Client Expectations Is A Good Idea

Posted in Marketing Tips

Patrick Lamb over at In Search of Perfect Client Service has a short and succinct post on the recurring theme of the delivery of legal services – specifically in the under promise, over deliver genre. He is commenting on a post by Dan Hull (whose blog What About Clients? I came across recently and really like) in which Dan questions the value of lawyers exceeding client expectations, when clients have such low expectations (deservedly or not) of lawyers generally. His main point seems to be that we need to first change the way clients think of lawyers in general.
There is no disagreement in a real sense, but I think Patrick’s point is right on when he says that whatever clients’ expectations are, by exceeding them you a priori “draw positive attention to yourself,” and from a legal marketing standpoint that is a good thing. While on the subject, I invite you to take a look at a couple of earlier posts of mine that dealt with the same topic here and here).
If you over promise and under deliver, you may not stand out among your colleagues (depending on how bad the delivery actually is), because of a general perception about lawyers that Dan was talking about, but if you exceed expectations, I am convinced that you will both help improve the general reputation of lawyers and your bottom line. So, exceeding expectations is a very good idea.

  • http://mullassery.blogsource.com Georgi Mammen Mullassery

    Check out my blog :http://mullassery.blogsource.com to read the article :Exceeding Expectations – A stupid Strategy.
    I think you will be convinced it is not a good strategy at all.

  • http://www.legalmarketingblog.com Tom Kane

    Georgi, with all due respective I do not agree at all. In the context in which the above post is made, it is an excellent strategy for furthering a firm’s legal marketing efforts.
    It appears that your premise is that “exceeding expectations” will “offer more value to a customer than he actually wants,” and thus the product will cost more and reduce profits. We are not talking about the same thing here.
    The type of service issues I am referring to do not cost more nor could they possibly exceed any value that clients would want. That is:
    1. Returning client phone calls (exceed expectation that it be returned promptly, say within 24 hours, by returning it within an hour or two or sooner),
    2. Meet the deadline (exceed expectation by getting the legal product to the client a day early), and
    3. Keep client informed (not just when they call, but exceed expectations by initiating a call to the client).
    As I point out in my post in response to your comment (which can be found at http://www.legalmarketingblog.com/marketing-tips-again-exceed-
    client-expectations.html), the main thrust here is to be responsive AND proactive. None of these actions, if done sooner than expected cost more. But, they will favorably impact a lawyer’s marketing and image.