Raving Fans.jpgThis is not rocket science. Law firms know that business clients are not happy with the service they receive from outside counsel. Yet, law firms for some reason do not make changes. According to surveys, most firms actually think their clients are satisfied.

Business clients who have significant outside legal expenditures compare your firm with others. How does your firm stack up?

I have recommended Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach To Customer Service by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles many times on this blog. One of the main points of the book is to deliver what your customer expects, plus one. In other words provide extraordinary service that exceeds your client’s expectations.

Charlie, the main character in Raving Fans learns this secret at a service station. There he was greeted by two smiling service attendants in spotless uniforms. Needless to say the service was unlike what is experienced in most service stations today, yet the price was the same as the self service station. They called Charlie by name after seeing it on his credit card.

Charlie learned that the attendants were paid bonuses and were promoted on the basis of their service. After Charlie had paid for the gas, the attendants let Charlie know his business was really appreciated and gave him a gift certificate for a car wash and 10 percent off the next purchase.

Andrew, the service station owner tells Charlie know that in a service business, you have to deliver all the time. The service has to be consistent to create credibility and earn trust. To accomplish that, Andrew suggests limiting the number of areas where you want to make a difference. Do one thing well and then move on to another thing. He also says to promise less than you deliver, but the focus in that statement is not to drive promises down, but rather to drive delivery up.

How can your law firm provide extraordinary service and exceed expectations? Here are a few ways:

  • Beating your budget or beat the estimated time to complete your project.
  • Be consistent and avoid surprises.
  • Do in-house workshops
  • Share your legal research with your clients
  • Sit in on your clients’ strategy meetings at no charge.
  • Put one of your lawyers in your client’s office for a week at no charge.
  • Whether it is a legal issue or not, when you find something you think may impact their business, send them a copy.
  • Create guides on specific legal topics and give them to your clients.
  • The latest thing might be to create an iPhone app with the guide on it.
  • Brainstorm among your lawyers, and with your clients to find other ways to add value.