Let me tell you a story about customer service involving pizza delivery and share what it might mean for your own client service.

Nancy and I grew up in Lombard, Illinois a Chicago suburb. Unlike many from Chicago, we always preferred thin crust pizza. Here in Dallas it is not easy to find pizza the way we like it, but several years ago we found a place near our home. Over time we discovered this shop not only made great pizza, but also made great buffalo wings. We became regular and loyal customers and told our friends about the shop.

A few weeks ago the shop was closed for remodeling. Then it reopened. On a Friday night we ordered the pizza and wings combo. The proprietor, or whoever answered the phone, advised us that he was the new owner and that our pizza and wings would be delivered in 30 minutes. After an hour we called back. In that call we were told they could not find our order and they were sold out of wings for that evening.

Frustrated, we got in our car and went to a fast food restaurant and brought home chicken sandwiches. When we arrived at home, 90 minutes after placing our order, we discovered the pizza delivery man was in front of our house. We sent him back with our order.

The next day I wrote a review on Trip Advisor and on Yelp. After our negative review, the new owner responded:

Can you give a call this is my cell phone xxx xxx xxxx I would l0ve to talk to you about Friday night. I’m very sorry we just open and I had 4 no call no show!! Can you please call me so I can make it up to you?

I haven’t called. I think it is a little late to make it up to me. I would have felt differently had the new owner called us 30 minutes after we placed our order and shared with us the problem he was encountering.

What is the point for you? I believe you can be the very best lawyer to handle a client’s legal work and still lose their business by screwing up on client service. Clients have an idea on how long it should take to get your work product. You might even tell them to expect to receive it by a certain date. If you do not meet that date, and you do not let the client know what is going on, the client will leave you for another lawyer. It will be too late for you to “make it up to the client.”

Seth Godin wrote a blog recently titled: (What you get) – (What you were hoping for). He said:

Research shows us that what people remember is far more important than what they experience. What’s remembered:

–the peak of the experience (bad or good) and,

–the last part of the experience.

Clients especially remember the peak of any bad experience with their lawyer and they readily share disappointments with other potential clients. It is really scary, but I suspect before long there will be popular web pages for business clients to review lawyers and law firms. What will your business clients say about you?