Posted by: johnocunningham | February 3, 2014

Law Firms Learning About Client Service

Leading-edge law firms are now doing what their best and most successful corporate clients have been doing for decades: measuring client satisfaction and figuring out how to deliver better client service.

Law firms that are growing market share and revenues per lawyer (and not by de-equitizing partners or manipulating numbers) are embracing well-established corporate tools for improving service and performance, such as client surveys and training programs for client/customer service, process improvement and project management.

These firms understand that client/customer service is a discipline and requires the application of consistent practices and procedures to insure that clients get a consistently positive experience.

They also understand, as noted in this excellent posting on LawMarketing.com, and cited in numerous other marketing studies, that:

  • For every customer or client complaint that is expressed to a service provider, there are numerous complaints that go unexpressed by other customers/clients (the estimated numbers range from roughly a dozen to multiple dozens per industry);
  • It takes many, many positive service experiences to make up for one bad experience (as one of my CEO-bosses once said, “It takes a lot of ‘atta-boys’ to make up for one ‘WTF’ experience.”);
  • A growing majority of business customers/clients have stopped doing business with a provider due to a single bad experience, in part because they are more aware of marketplace alternatives and in part because service performance and expectations have ratcheted up over time.

Law firms that are not working on systematic means of improving client service and developing greater client loyalty are falling behind those that are. It is not rocket science, but it is a science, and leading-edge firms understand that it requires careful study and execution.

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