You’ve all had experiences where you rave about someone or something. Have you ever stopped to analyze why you are raving? My readers know I often like to write about personal experiences to make a point translatable to your practice. Today is no different.
I recently had to purchase another router so I could continue to have wireless in my home with all our portable devices. I dreaded it. Just like I dread buying any new equipment. Why? The last time I bought a router I had to have my father install. I know what you’re thinking, a router installation is four easy steps. I know it is. But it never works out for me that way. But I never knew why. So, the router he installed just up and died. I happened to have two people who know computers look to reinstall. Neither one could do it. And they are computer people; smart computer people. No go. So, I went without my new router for a long time getting erratic wireless from my neighbor.
Finally, his wireless was so erratic I realized I am going to have to try, again. My father had good luck with a Linksys. But the reason I went with Linksys was because he said he was very impressed with their customer service. (First lesson – a referral made based upon the client experience).
I bought the Linksys router and waited until 10:30 at night to install. See, for me I can be calm in a car crash but let my internet go down without help to bring back it back up and I become a raving lunatic. I followed the four easy steps and on the fourth step there were problems. Ah ha! My father said customer service was great which was why I bought the brand. I called customer service and tried to keep my anxiety in check.
I got a very soft spoken person who started to walk me through the process. Everytime my voice got nasty with anxiety, he calmed me down. Now hold your breathe on this one. He spent THREE hours on the phone with me – 10:30 pm until 1:30 am. Yes, THREE hours.
When the normal fixes were not working, he finally asked, ‘do I have your permission to access your desktop remotely?’ I was concerned and exhaustedly mumbled something about ‘what about all my private stuff?’ He said, ‘you will see everything I am doing on your desktop. IF I am successful there will be a charge of $9.99.” (OK, here’s my pain point – panic at loss of internet, been on the phone for 2 hours at this point and I would have given him $100 to make this problem go away. Value pricing? When you know someone’s pain point you can establish the value to them for resolution. It’s not a function of time but ‘profit to the client’ less the cost for the result – but that’s for another post.) I agreed.
Within the half hour this wunderkind worked his magic and the router worked properly. There were significant internal conflicting issues caused by my cable company and no one else would have had the patience to figure out. Or they would have charged me $30 or more by the hour while they scratched their heads.
When I saw it was finally working I felt all the tension leave my body and I became giddy. That’s how important this was to me. Linksys happens to be a good machine but without the customer service, it was worthless to me.
And for all you social media people, when we were done he asked if I use Twitter? See this CSR is in India and while on my desktop he saw the menubar with Twitter. He asked if he could follow me because he was new to Twitter. We chatted for a while and then he followed me and I him. Now we chat periodically about normal social things while on line.
Moral of the story. I would recommend Linksys to anyone BECAUSE of the client experience. And I was referred to originally purchase BECAUSE of another client experience. It didn’t matter I couldn’t install myself and needed help. What mattered was if I needed help I got superior help. And now I am a fan for life because I will not give up the comfort of knowing I will receive this type of client service. They have me for life. Is Linksys the absolute best product out there? I don’t know and I don’t care. Their customer service is and my client experience was the absolute best.
Now, on to lawyers. Many of you are competent, but still learning the ropes, understanding you need mentors for the more advanced areas of your substantive knowledge. But from the day you open your doors you can start creating an exceptional client experience and let these clients be evangelists for you and your services.
My favorite lawyer story to exemplify this is from my girlfriend. Her husband had a worker’s compensation case which was languishing for years. They shopped for a competent attorney based upon a recommendation. They did their ‘internet’ research and selected. When we started to talk about his case over lunch she could not stop gushing about her attorney. I asked, ‘what makes him so great?’ It wasn’t the results they were achieving which stood out, although they were ultimately pleased with them. She said, ‘he knows how to deal with John. He listens and answers all his questions, always returns our phone calls and this gives us peace of mind.’
You don’t need to be practicing twenty years to understand the value of this ‘prioritizing’ when discussing why someone will refer you over another. It doesn’t in any way diminish the importance of competence and ethics and proper pricing. But it does show a pecking order in your client’s mind.
Isn’t this what you want to achieve everytime a client chooses to hire you over another lawyer? A client for life who will become an evangelist for your services?
If you haven’t already considered this as a goal, I suggest it should be.
Do you have a story to share about great client service? Do so in the comments!