Our Ten Imperatives of Client Service
1. BE ACCESSIBLE:
We are accessible, on our clients' timetables, day or night, weekday or weekend, in the office or at home. We are there when a client’s problem has assumed such a level of importance that they simply must “talk to their lawyer.”
2. BE RELIABLE:
We keep our promises. We do what we say we will do, by the deadline we agree to, for the price we commit to. We also meet the implied promise we make to all our clients: we promise that as a firm we will deliver a quality legal product that meets their needs with professionalism and with appropriate, ethical behavior.
3. BE RESPONSIVE:
Our clients need us when they need us, not when we can get around to them. We act with a sense of immediacy and urgency to meet their needs.
4. PROVIDE ASSURANCE:
We convey to our clients that they are doing business with well-trained, experienced, skillful professionals who can address their legal situation appropriately and with self-confidence.
5. SHOW EMPATHY:
In order to serve our clients effectively we must understand their points of view and care about their problems as if they were our own. It is crucial that we understand our clients’ industries, particular companies or personal situations, and legal goals, as well as the laws that are implicated by their problems.
6. PAY ATTENTION TO TANGIBLES:
We deliver pleadings, contracts, letters, and other papers that are professional, well-done, and proof-read for more than typos.
Effective and timely communication is crucial to every relationship. Communication instills and reinforces assurance and trust, ensures that both our attorneys and our clients share the same understandings of the problem and its resolution, and eliminates misunderstandings about deadlines, staffing, and cost.
8. SHOW INITIATIVE:
Service-oriented attorneys don’t wait to be pushed into action by their clients. We anticipate our clients’ needs, propose solutions, offer suggestions, and lay out options as soon as we understand the problems or the opportunities. We are “proactive” rather than “reactive.”
9. ADD VALUE:
Our clients want professionals who use their legal knowledge as a tool to anticipate and solve problems and to help them identify and take advantage of opportunities. They are not looking for excuses or explanations for why they are in a predicament or why they cannot achieve their goals. As consultant Alan Levine said, “Clients believe that a good lawyer is an individual who understands the law and knows how to work with it to achieve realistic, helpful solutions to their problems. They also recognize that lawyers who can prevent legal problems from ever happening can be far more useful – and less expensive – than those who solve them once they occur.”
10. RECOVER FROM SERVICE ERRORS
As hard as we may try, there will be times when our clients’ needs and expectations are not met. We must work as hard after things go wrong as we do to ensure that they go right.