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February 26, 2013

What About Clients's World Famous, Bad-Ass, Annoying and Infuriatingly Correct 12 Rules of Customer Service.

Years ago, we set out to write a rule-by-rule "12-step" program for lawyers, professionals and executives. Our 12 Rules were derived from the "How To Practice Law" section of our firm's Practice Guide, written for associates and paralegals. The goal of the Rules is to align the interests of clients/customers and service providers to the fullest extent possible. The Rules are not perfect, and can be improved. But this model works--if you work at it. If you follow them by building a disciplined culture at your shop where they are enforced, and kept alive, your clients and firm both benefit as you go along.

You'll see repeat business. You'll make money.

But the hard part here is not knowing "what to do". Rather, it's the will and discipline, including an unrelenting enforcement, to keep it up every day. Employees who get, or quickly buy into, weaving customer service into lawyering skills--they are Group 1--are easy to spot. And so are those who do not get it and do not buy into CS.

We'll call these folks Group 2. And they are legion. "Smart people" in Group 2 in the professions are a dime a dozen; they are simply never enough to get your firm where it wants to go. You need "smart people-plus"--those in Group 1. Honor both your firm, and your clients and customers.

Those in Group 2? They won't change. Trust us.

Here are the 12 Rules:

1. Represent only clients you like.

2. The client is the main event.

3. Make sure everyone in your firm knows the client is the main event.

4. Deliver legal work that changes the way clients think about lawyers.

5. Over-communicate: bombard, copy and confirm.

6. When you work, you are marketing.

7. Know the client.

8. Think like the client--help control costs.

9. Be there for clients--24/7.

10. Be accurate, thorough and timely--but not perfect.

11. Treat each co-worker like he or she is your best client.

12. Have fun.

Bad Craziness? It is thinking CS is easy.
(Artist: Ralph Steadman)

Posted by JD Hull at February 26, 2013 12:00 AM


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