Are Your Matters a Process, Transaction or Relationship?

Are Your Matters a Process, Transaction or Relationship?

January 14, 2013 at 10:35 AM

Where does client satisfaction and relationship figure in your thinking?

The fact is that any client matter should follow a well thought out process, each client matter is ultimately a transaction, and each matter does involve a relationship between you and your client.

The first question that each firm needs to ask of itself is:

“What is our focus with our client matters in relation to process, transaction or relationship?”

Once that question is answered, then the next question is:

“Are each of our solicitors behaviours consistent with our matter and client focus?”

But the ultimate question is simply, “What is the client expecting?”

Because after all, if you aren’t meeting the client’s expectations, it doesn’t matter how good your legal execution is, you won’t retain clients and your business will rely 100% on attracting new clients, and that means wasting more of your resources on marketing than you need to.

It always amazes me when I visit businesses that rely heavily on tourists that the service is often poor. The mindset seems to be that service doesn’t matter because the tourists will probably never come back. I don’t know about you, but when I encounter poor service I make a resolution never to go back to that business, and if it’s particularly bad, I make a point of telling anyone I know who is thinking of using that services how bad it is. I don’t know the statistics of how many people we tell of very poor service in today’s age of social media, but prior to the rise of social media the average person told nine others when they encountered very poor service.

The simple maths of marketing is that is costs you money to attract clients, but it costs far less to retain existing clients or have clients refer their friends/colleagues and acquaintances to you. So client retention makes sense and is a simple result of meeting your client’s expectations.

So how do you know what your clients expectations are, and how do you know if you are meeting their expectations?

The known expectation when you engage a client is set out in your service agreement in terms of the legal representation you will provide for your client, but there are other often unspecified expectations from your client that are ultimately the result of your relationship with them. From our experience, and backed up by client data, clients have two main but often unexpressed expectations of your relationship with them:

  1. They want you to keep them informed of the what’s happening, and
  2. They want to feel that you are interested in them and their matter.

Your clients matter is really important to them; they simply want to feel that you have that same interest.


But heres the thing, it doesn’t matter how good your legal representation, it doesn’t matter if you think that you have shown strong interest, it doesn’t matter if you feel that you have communicated really well,…………. if your client doesn’t feel that you have taken an interest in them or kept them up to date on their matter, it doesn’t matter what you think.

The simplest way of finding out the answers to these questions is to ask your clients:

  • What your clients expectations are
  • If you are meeting your clients expectations
  • If your solicitors and team is consistent in meeting your clients expectations

Firm Foundations Australia offers a simple service to help you do the asking and offers integrated monthly reporting to help you act on what your clients are telling you. Check out our web page on Client Satisfaction. We can tailor a service specifically for your firm and your clients.

Tags: Client Satisfaction Client Relationship Customer Satisfaction Client Perception
Category: Leadership

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