A few years ago I read a book written by Charlene Li and Josh BernoffGroundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies

I found an interesting idea in the book. Early in 2007, Crédit Mutuel, a French bank, began an ad campaign directing viewers to a website titled: “If I were a banker.”



The authors describe that the website has a French voice who says: “If I were a banker, I would give my customers a say in things and together we would build the bank of tomorrow.” From there the visitor can either enter a suggestion or see what others have suggested.

Crédit Mutuel received tens of thousands suggestions. Some were useless. Many were very helpful and creative.

As the authors note, instead of saying: “Tell us what to do,” they said: “What would you do if you were us.”

There is a subtle, but important difference. Because the bank is encouraging the customers to develop empathy for the bank, even momentarily, Crédit Mutuel gets much more realistic suggestions.

So here is my question: Can you and your law firm create the same dialogue with your clients? If so, how would you do it? I suspect you won’t be putting the “If I were a lawyer/law firm” question on your website.

But, you might simply ask your clients, “If you were our law firm:

  • what would you do to add value?”
  • what would you do to be more responsive?’
  • how would you improve client service?”
  • how would you train your lawyers?”
  • what improvements would you make in billing?”
  • how would you improve communication with clients?”
  • what topics would you offer in webinars at no charge?”
  • what would you ask your clients?”

P.S. Are you a lawyer I coached? If so, I invite you to do a guest post on my blog. Send me your draft on some aspect of client or career development, leadership, mentoring, motivation or another topic.