Your Best Marketing Consultants – Your Clients

Can you think back to the last bad customer service experience you had? I am sure you can. In fact, it might be fairly easy. Because the truth is, in today’s world, poor customer service is not surprising. Late deliveries, poorly trained staff, continual automated answering services- it can become expected.

Now think of your best customer service experience. Close your eyes and think back to that time. Where were you? How did that experience make you feel? Did you talk to your friends and family about it?

In today’s competitive market, the value of providing exceptional customer service is higher than ever and many businesses are continually striving to be the best. Providing exceptional customer service is the obvious first key to a successful practice. And as firms are beginning to recognize the importance of differentiating yourself from your competition, boasting about their strong emphasis on customer service seems like a clear differentiator. But if you think about it, most, if not all, businesses claim to have the ‘best customer service experience’. And we know, you seldom receive the service most claim to possess. Ultimately, this marketing tactic is no longer a differentiator.

If you are currently using this tactic in any of your marketing materials, I recommend removing it. I know this sounds extreme as promising to deliver exceptional customer service is essential. However, the real question your firm should be asking and answering on a continual basis is, “HOW are we providing exceptional customer service?” Many firms claim they do it, but seldom talk about HOW they do it.

If this is resonating with you and you are now resolved to begin answering this question, the first people you need to ask are your clients. While this may seem intimidating, your clients will provide you with the best perspective of their experience with you firm. Reach out to 7 of your top clients and invite them to lunch. This is a great opportunity (and maybe excuse) to reconnect with your best clients and allow them the opportunity to provide you with some feedback. How often do we communicate our needs to our clients versus listening and adapting to their needs?

Uncovering what your clients really want will provide you with a pulse on customer satisfaction for existing clients and insights on how to differentiate the firm with new clients. This insight will set the tone and path for how you should be communicating your differentiators moving forward.

Here are 8 great questions, for your next meeting, to help get the conversation going:
1. How would you rate our firm’s responsiveness to your questions or requests?
2. How would you rate the quality of communication in keeping you up-to-date on the status of your case? Or new laws and regulations?
3. How satisfied were/are you with our lawyer(s) understanding and effectively advising you and/or on your business?
4. How satisfied were/are you with our ability to provide guidance for reaching your goals?
5. Based on your experience with us, what would you say are the strengths of our firm?
6. Based on your experience with us, what would you say are the weaknesses of our firm?
7. Are you likely to refer us to a friend or colleague?
8. Overall, how satisfied were you with our firm’s communication with you?

The best resource for uncovering your true differentiators lies in the people you are currently serving. Ask their opinion; they will be glad you did. Stop claiming you have the best customer service and start explaining HOW you are different from the rest.

written by Jennifer Kernan