Just curious: Do your clients recommend your firm to other businesses in their industry? Your firm and others know that client service is the key to to getting clients to recommend your firm. The problem as I see it, is that law firms “over promise” and “under deliver.”

Does your firm webpage promise to “add value” for clients and claim that firm is “client focused?”

I have seen those phrases on law firm websites for many years. But, most law firms do not convey what those phrases mean. Also, many law firms fall short on implementing these ideas.

Here is a question for you: When was the last time your firm discussed how you could provide “extraordinary” service to your clients?

I have a second question: When was the last time your firm rewarded a lawyer or professional staff member for providing “extraordinary” service?

I recently gave it some thought and wanted to share my ideas with you.

Value Adding Strategies

Some value adding strategies are not new. Some might simply say adding value means “going the extra mile.” But, even that phrase is ambiguous.

  • Understand client needs.
  • Anticipate your clients needs before they know they have a need.
  • Create content clients value and give it away. (I spent a lifetime creating guides and doing in-house workshops for clients.)
  • Treat each client, no matter how large or small, like it is the most important firm client.
  • Provide top quality as perceived by the clients by understanding their business and needs. (Subscribe to their business publications.)
  • Provide superior and timely service. (Price is less of an object when service exceeds expectations.)
  • Extraordinary responsiveness. (Clients want the work done right away.)
  • When appropriate introduce your clients to other clients with whom they can do business.

Client Focused

  • Read what your clients are reading.
  • Belong to the organizations your clients belong to.
  • Meet frequently with your clients at their place of business. (Don’t always charge the client for these meetings.)
  • Figure out what your clients like and don’t like.
  • Ask your clients how your firm could serve them better.
  • Look for new and innovative ways to serve your clients.
  • Treat your client representative like a partner.
  • Make sure your younger lawyers learn about the clients for whom they are working.

If you want more of my thoughts, check out my Client Service iBook on Slideshare or you can download it to your iPad from iTunes.

If you read my iBook you will find many Ritz Carlton stories. Did you know that each Ritz Carlton employee participates in a 15-20 minute meeting each day before their shift to talk about customer service.

I wonder what would happen if a law firm held a meeting each day to talk about client service? Somehow, I think clients would notice a difference, and so would your lawyers and staff.