Dishwashers, Luggage Cake & Client Retention

March 19th, 2024

Dishwashers, Luggage Cake & Client Retention

POSTED IN Uncategorized

I’m on hold, listening to what I’m sure this company assured itself was jazzy music, while I try not to grind my teeth together.

It has been four weeks since the dishwasher repairman was here to assure me that it would only be “a few days” before a new dishwasher was installed.

Now, listen, this is REALLY a high-class problem. Plenty of people don’t have dishwashers, because they ARE the dishwasher. I have a new appreciation for that as someone who has spent a lot of weeks washing her own dishes – though I’d really like to be able to boil some dog dishes in the dishwasher again, especially with an ancient basset hound who is more susceptible to bacteria in his advanced age.

But it’s easy to cope with, not a major issue. But it IS something I’m paying for. I have extra insurance that allows me to make a claim when I have certain repairs needed, pay a lesser amount for those repairs and (theoretically) get quick and decent service by vetted repair people. Usually, it goes fine.

But this time, the bureaucracy stepped in, because I know that when the tech recommended a new dishwasher, someone above him insisted that they hunt instead for parts that don’t actually exist for my 30+-year-old dishwasher <<insert comment about how they don’t make ’em like they used to>>.

And so, now, it’s been a month that I’ve waited. The time isn’t the problem – it’s the lack of communication. Except for a cryptic call a couple of weeks ago, when a recording told me that they were canceling a repair appointment that I didn’t know I had because the parts weren’t in yet, it’s been radio silent. I had to call them.

Let’s contrast this with a story I read yesterday on Threads – a travel writer posted that she had arrived in India to find that an airline had lost her luggage. These days, we all know that’s a typical occurrence. Her hotel – and I am going to name-drop them – the Leela Hotel in New Delhi, not only communicated with the airline for her, but they also picked her bag up from the airport when it arrived, delivered it to her room wrapped in a bow AND gave her a cake in the shape of her actual luggage to welcome her back to her room that day.

Now THAT is going the extra mile.

If you’re still with me by now, you may be wondering what ANY of this has to do with lawyers. Hopefully, you’ve already figured it out – it’s all about client service. You don’t have to bake your clients a cake – though I’m going to be honest, it wouldn’t hurt. I also accept cake by the way.

But there are some very important lessons in both of the above stories that are truly relevant:

Communication and Expectations:

Regular updates and transparency build trust.

Set realistic expectations from the outset, tailored to each client’s communication preferences.

Taking Ownership and Prioritizing Quality:

Own and resolve issues promptly, avoiding blame or excuses.

Prioritize client needs over bureaucratic processes, ensuring quality service delivery.

Proactivity and Continuous Improvement:

Anticipate and address potential problems before they escalate.

Seek feedback and continually improve client service processes.

Personalization and Anticipating Needs:

Tailor service to meet each client’s unique needs and preferences.

Anticipate client needs proactively to provide a seamless experience.

Surprise and Delight:

Create memorable experiences through thoughtful gestures and surprises, fostering client loyalty.

The theme throughout the above is obviously knowing your client, which most lawyers excel at and using that knowledge to meet their needs when you communicate with them, continuously improving your services, anticipating their needs, and working to surprise and delight them. This is how you not only make them happy and retain them as clients, but ensure that they are the bullhorn for your services to their peers.

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