I’m very pleased to welcome today’s guest blogger, Mr. Jeff Nischwitz. Jeff is the Founder and Chief Acceleration Officer of Think Again!TM (www.thinkagaincoaching.com), a speaking, training, consulting and coaching company. I’ve seen the great work that Jeff can do for law firms. In fact, I liked his work so much I recently hired him to work with our team here at Advocate Capital, Inc! Below are some snippets from this excellent article. The full pdf file can be accessed by clicking here. For more information on Think Again’s programs, contact Jeff at email@example.com or (216) 373-7610.
President and Chief Executive Officer
If Your Firm Lives the Gold Standard, You’re Losing©
The Gold Rush of 1848 sent 300,000 people racing to California to find their fortunes. For thousands of years gold has been a symbol of wealth and status. Every four years athletes around the world set their sights on winning the top prize … a gold medal. And we all know what’s at the end of the rainbow – a pot of gold. Yet, as times changes so do standards. The United States was on the Gold Standard for many years, but economic realities forced a change. And now the same has happened to the law firm business … for years delivering gold level services was the pinnacle for lawyers and law firms, but now things have changed. In today’s competitive marketplace for legal services clients are looking for and demanding more. Enter the Platinum Experience. If your firm is still pursuing and delivering the gold standard, then you’re losing ground…
…All clients want and expect excellent legal advice, representation and services. I’ve never heard of a client (even an unsophisticated client) approaching a lawyer saying “I’m looking for average or mediocre. I’m looking for a solid ‘C’ level lawyer.” Instead, they’re all looking for excellent, but here’s the problem … very few clients can tell the difference between good and great legal work, advice or services. As a result, in most cases how good you are is irrelevant with the clients. Yes, I said it … how good you are is irrelevant to your clients. Certainly, how good you are is meaningful in terms of the potential outcomes for your clients, but most clients are only capable of judging you and your law firm on two things: outcomes (which we ultimately don’t control or guarantee) and the experience they have in working with you….
…When it comes to communication, lawyers and law firms do not have a strong track record. In virtually every state the number one cause of disciplinary complaints is NOT malpractice or mistakes, but lack of attention, lack of responsiveness, and lack of follow up. Basic communication was sorely missing in the legal profession (which continues today), but many law firms “got it” and improved their communication to a gold standard. Gold standard law firms deliver the following communication experience:
- Promptly return phone calls
- Effectively answer client inquiries
- Ask good questions
- Meet deadlines (most of the time)
- Explain the process
- Understand client goals
All good, but Platinum Experience law firms deliver an even higher level of communication experience:
- They proactively communicate with clients and keep them informed so that there are rarely phone calls to return
- They anticipate questions and communicate with clients to limit inquiries
- They consistently and predictably communicate with clients in various ways to assure ongoing awareness, education and comfort
- They ask deep questions and get to know their clients beyond the legal work
- They hone their listening skills
- They deliver ahead of schedule
- They walk clients through the process and go through the process with their clients (as partners, not as vendors)
- They understand their clients’ context (how this legal work fits into their clients’ lives and businesses)
At the core, Platinum Experience law firms understand that their clients don’t have legal problems, but personal and business problems with legal implications. The old saying goes that “it’s not personal,” but for clients it’s all very personal. Gold standard law firms deliver excellent legal services with a goal of excellent legal results. Platinum Experience law firms deliver excellent legal services with a goal of excellent legal results AND a great overall personal and business result for what’s most important for their clients. By the way, Platinum Experience law firms also know what’s most important to their clients even beyond the narrow legal matters or issues…
Please click here to read the entire article in pdf format.