“Isn’t every year supposed to be the year of the client?”

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/Freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/Freedigitalphotos.net

The first and third Wednesdays of the month, I send out a Rainmaking Recommendation to my email list.  This past Rainmaking Recommendation, I declared that 2015 was going to be the Year of The Client.

I suggested that in light of the fact that one of the largest law firms in the U.S. is going to be eliminating billable hours for its associates in favor of “assessing them on efficiency, client service, responsiveness, team orientation and pro-bono commitment” that client service is going to become one of the best business development tactics you could use to increase your book of business through more referrals.

After I declared this, I had a conversation with Josh King, VP of Business Development & General Counsel for AVVO, who asked: “Isn’t every year supposed to be the year of the client?”

Yes, Josh – it is – but you and I both know that this isn’t the way it works in the real world.   The busy-ness of the legal profession sometimes gets in the way of providing the care that a client truly needs or wants.

I wanted to start this series of blogs and Rainmaking Recommendations with a definition of what constitutes client service.

Client service is the act of taking care of the client’s needs by providing and delivering professional, helpful, high quality service and assistance before, during, and after the client’s requirements are met.

But GOOD client service takes it steps beyond that definition and GREAT client service should not only deliver quality service and assistance, it should exceed the client’s expectations.

“Our clients are our top priority” claims every law firm out there – except, there are way too many ethical complaints from clients saying just the opposite.

Additionally, there is now a forum for every client to detail your poor client service called the internet – and they will detail your bad client service in the form of review sites (Yelp, AVVO), in their blogs and on social media (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook).  To avoid these you need to proactively make your clients as satisfied as humanly and ethically possible.  Further, the happier your clients, the more they will refer you to others.

As part of this series, I will be providing ways to provide ways to provide great client services from the moment they meet you, when they call your firm – whether for the first or umpteenth time, how to deal with clients who are truly pains in the butt and so much more.

I want to leave you with 10 of the greatest examples of customer service that I have recently found.

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