As lawyers, we have a love/hate relationship with our clients. Without clients, we would have nothing to do, but some clients can be pretty difficult – demanding, unreasonable, needy, rude, annoying, untrustworthy, manipulative, complaining, bossy, etc. But we are a service industry, a very competitive service industry. And while you may feel comfortable that a client isn’t going anywhere (or can’t), he or she can have an impact on your livelihood. This is especially true given the power that Google has given to consumers. A bad review (and certainly more than one) can have a real impact on your business. Of course, our goal shouldn’t simply be to avoid bad reviews.
Our clients hold the key to unlocking a treasure trove of information that will help grow and secure new business, and we must be ready and willing to turn it. This means listening to them, thinking about things from their perspective, asking them questions, focusing on their needs and interests, not making assumptions about them, and being willing to make changes.
Let’s face it, poor customer service has become the norm. This lowers our expectations. But does it make us happy? Take Chick-fil-a for example.
While their chicken is pretty good, is it much better than the other fast-food franchises? Yet, drive by any Chick-fil-a restaurant anytime near lunch and they will have ten times the customers that the neighboring fast-food franchises do. Their customer service is more than friendly as they make quips while taking your order or delivering your fried goodness. They think about their customers’ experiences. A long line develops at the drive-through (a product of their success). Friendly sales associates are outside walking the line taking our orders so our wait isn’t long. They’ve built covers over parts of their drive-through lines so that our exchanges with these remote agents can be accomplished in all types of weather.