This week I have been focusing on client service. As I have suggested in earlier posts, in a crowded legal market it is hard for a lawyer or law firm to distinguish herself ot  itself from other equally talented lawyers and law firms. If you are looking for ways to do it, think about what other businesses are doing.

 In Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? , Seth Godin says that Hyatt Hotels is now treating their best customers differently. They are not seeking to charge them more, Instead, they are randomly covering bar tabs, giving free massages and providing other services for which there is normally a charge.

Hyatt isn’t the only hotel that provides unexpected things to its best customers. In my post on Tuesday, I mentioned how I was treated recently at The Peninsula Beverly Hills.

In March I stayed at the Ritz Carlton in Philadelphia. The people who work there know I am a big Starbucks coffee drinker. When I arrived in my room I found a basket of Starbucks goodies including a mug, Via instant coffee, a Starbucks card and expresso chocolate candy. This was the second time a Ritz Carlton hotel had given me Starbucks goodies. If you have a moment go back and read my blog post Client Service The Ritz Carlton Way.  Also take a moment to read what Fashion Law lawyer Staci Riordan wrote about her pillow experience at the Philadelphia Ritz Carlton in he blog "Puttin’ on the Ritz."

Many of you will correctly point out that staying at the Ritz Carlton is different that working with a lawyer and law firm. While that is true, I still believe the unexpected extra service can set you and your law firm apart. Staci and I wrote about our Ritz Carlton experiences because we never expected the extra service. Your clients will tell others about you and your firm when you provide that unexpected extra service.

Are you trying to charge more and cross-sell your very best clients, or are you providing extra, unexpected service at no charge? When was the last time you did something that would normally be billable and simply did not charge for it?