The Best Form of Client Service

We have spoken before about how to add value for clients (view this previous blog here). Client service is essential in not just maintaining your client relationship but in retaining your client in what is arguably one of the most competitive markets the legal profession has ever faced. Most clients will assume that their lawyer will be able to do the job that is required – so how and why do clients stay with their service provider or leave and go to another? How do they choose a legal adviser if they have not been to one before?Client Service

Think about your own experiences with service. How do you choose? Price is one variable, and some will choose based solely on price, unless there is a particular product they want. The other one is value – what value do you receive for the price you are paying?

I recall a particular experience with a builder some years ago. The price quoted was slightly more than other quotes I had received. Yet I also had a recommendation from someone I trusted and I went with the higher quote. While it may have cost more, the VALUE I received was immeasurable.

  • Every question I had was answered with patience and honesty
  • Every change to scope was documented, no matter how small
  • The supervisor for the job was a pleasure to deal with
  • The job was completed on time and to budget
  • I received timely communication along the way
  • At the end of the building job, I received an envelope with a copy of all plans for future reference, and photographs of various stages of the building job.

So who do you think I would recommend to anyone considering building a house?

Think about your own clients. If price is one deciding factor and is either no different from your competitors, or slightly different, what VALUE will you deliver to your clients that will differentiate you? Price is a fact, but value is a perception rather than a fact and you can influence this perception with your own behaviour. Will you commit to keeping your client informed even if nothing is happening on their matter? Will you document changes to scope of instruction?

Will you provide good service, or poor service? What would poor service look like from the client’s perspective? In looking at how you provide value for the money you charge, you need to put yourself in the shoes of the client and think about how this works for the client.

Most importantly, will you develop a relationship with the client? Relationships are the cornerstone of all business dealings. Having a positive relationship will assist if things go wrong, in that the client is much more likely to move on from whatever went wrong. But assuming things go well, the client is more likely to refer you to others. And like the builder I mentioned earlier, you will be able to build a practice based on genuine referrals and glowing recommendations from happy clients if you provide value in the service for which you are paid.

And as the great Albert Einstein said:

Strive not to be a success; but rather to be of value.