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.