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May 18, 2006

Real Relationships With Clients and Customers: "What's The Problem?"

"Clients" should conjure up the idea of long-term relationships. This blog has tried to emphasize achieving success and professional satisfaction by forming client relationships and making them last. In short, you "market" by doing good work for clients you like with an eye toward making them customers for life. Sure, we all want new clients and new work, but repeat clients is the goal of many business lawyers and other professionals who want to attract and retain a high-end client base. But for most of us keeping clients is very hard. We always talk about "service". We even think we are doing it. Client service is way harder than it looks. It takes an unlikely mix of passion, joy and discipline.

No one gets all this better than Arnie Herz at Legal Sanity. The guy's truly on to something and has a consistent message--one you'll need to discover for yourself. A few days ago on a plane I suddenly started writing a post about Arnie and his theme of lawyers as "trusted advisors" in enduring relationships that grow and get better. Arnie is truly the lawyer of the future--Western logic smart yet intuitive and creative. My Arnie post is not finished yet but today I just noticed one he wrote I love called "Sending Mixed Messages About Client Service" based on a disappointing but commonplace shopping experience most of us have had. As the post shows, one of our problems with clients and customers--in small mom and pop stores and mega-stores open until midnight, professional firms or Fortune 500 companies--is our tendency to treat "client connections as ephemeral transactions rather than lasting relationships". Anyway, read the post. More on Arnie and Legal Sanity later.

Posted by JD Hull at May 18, 2006 07:08 PM

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