Differentiation or distraction?

There is a lot of nonsense talked about differentiation.  Every professional service firms claims they have an edge because they are client-centric, straightforward and pragmatic.  The only trouble is almost every professional service firm claims they have an edge because they are client-centric, straightforward and pragmatic!

If you want a real edge there is a much easier way.  Moreover, everyone in your firm has the capability to deliver this with nothing more than training and commitment … just do what you say you are going to do.  

It sounds simple but very few lawyers/accountants/attorneys/architects deliver this promise consistently.

And if you’re wondering how this might work in your firm here are 5 very practical suggestions:

1. Create a client charter.  Tell your clients (and your staff) what they can expect (or should deliver) in transparent terms, e.g. speed of response, money-back guarantees and fixed fees.

2. Under promise and over deliver. Err on the side of caution when you give clients response times and then surprise them by responding quicker.

3. Invest in training to ensure the service you deliver is on message, congruent with your firm’s brand values and exceeds your clients’ requirements.

4. Reward fee earners on delivery versus not on technical ability, look at BD targets like how often they see clients and referrers outside of matters, cases or questions.

5. At the completion of a case or project, ask clients for their feedback.  More pointedly ask how your delivery measured up against the promises made in your client charter or Service Level Agreement.

If you’d like to discuss how we could help your firm look after your clients better, please email us and we can find a time to chat.

Published by sizetenandahalfboots

Douglas is a director of Size 10½ Boots, a specialist business development agency that works solely with the professional services, helping firms grow by winning more new clients and more work from the clients they already have. Although every project is different our work generally falls into one of three camps - strategic marketing support, BD training and 1on1 coaching and independent client research.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: