No. 76 in Ric Willmot’s weekly wisdom series “Customer Experiences Drive Your Business” hit a core nerve with me. He starts by stating “(c)ustomer service shouldn’t be a poor man’s cousin to growing your business.” He is right, of course. It should be the center of any business’ thinking in terms of creating raving fans that keep coming back and referring others to your law firm.
In his brief post on LinkedIn, he highlights six strategies that should drive your service quality to insure favorable (in our case) client experiences, which I paraphrase as follows:
- Don’t let technology reduce the “personal touch”. Face-to-face contact is still vital to building client relationships;
- Make client service personal. Willmot warns against commoditizing your service, or you will in turn “be treated as a commodity;”
- “Build relationships.” You’re not selling to a company or an inanimate object, but to a person or persons. The emotional connection is essential, so find out what is “personally important” to the client;
- Give client options in how to do business with you and your firm;
- Think beyond the current matter. Don’t misunderstand me. Focus fully on the client’s current needs, but treat the client’s matter as just one of many engagements. In other words, give the client the kind of service so that s/he will have “exciting reasons to refer” your firm to others, and come back themselves. Remember that raving fan thing; and
- Don’t take clients you really don’t want. Poor business will “sap your energy and destroy staff enthusiasm.” Not to mention that you will probably give the matter less than your stellar effort.
I really like Willmot’s stuff, and it’s worth a second read. Keep in mind that your firm’s success will be driven by client experiences!