Entry #5: 5 Steps to Better Service

Supplier-Connection: The Supplier Spotlight Contest

For our law firm (which is a transactional business firm and not a litigation firm), we find we can “create efficiencies and cut costs” for our clients by employing these 5 simple points:

1)  Meet Your Client Face to Face.  Email is great, but we like to meet prospective clients face to face.  This may seem like a given to most folks, but with our high-tech society, the personal touch is often left out.  Before embarking on a formal, professional relationship both the prospective client and company should evaluate each other to see if there’s a natural fit, both in practice areas/experience as well as personality.  For ongoing clients, whenever a new business person or in house attorney is the assigner of a project, we take the time to meet them for lunch when it is convenient for them.  The client knows you care about them on a human level and this paves the way for easier communications.

2)  Find Out Client’s Business Goals.  Sometimes clients come with a pre-conceived notion of what it is they think they need or want.  In response, lawyers sometimes take off right out of the gate drafting documents (and incurring fees) without understanding the client’s goals, thus having to shift later into another structure or form of transaction which can result in extra cost to the client.  If you understand the client’s goals up front, you can suggest more efficient, simpler ways of achieving those goals.

3)  Keep the Client Up to Date.  Strike a balance! Don’t inundate the client by cc:’ing everyone on every email.  But find out from your client how they’d like you to handle status updates and being respectful of it.  You never want your main contact to be taken by surprise when management asks for an update.  This promotes efficiency within the client’s organization by simply not overloading the client with needless correspondence, yet allows them to report intelligently about a project.

4) Understand Client’s Business.  Learn (on your own time) about the client’s business, its successes, challenges, business expansion plans and competitors.  When you hear of a seminar, or article that pertains to your client’s industry, forward that information to them.  As a result, you’ll be able to suggest a course of action (e.g., suggesting that your client register its trademarks in a foreign country well before it attempts sales there to avoid trademark piracy) that will help pave the way for smoother operations or expansion for them, saving them the time and expense of later having to litigate to fix something that could have been properly planned.  Your client knows you’re considering their welfare even when you are not working on a particular project.

5) Create a Network of Referrals.  It’s unlikely our staff can fulfill all of our clients’ needs.  However, we want our clients to be well served.  If we don’t possess a certain expertise, we will do our utmost to find other professionals who have the skill set they may need.  For example, we don’t have engineering or scientific backgrounds and so we cannot prosecute patents; therefore, if our client needs that expertise, we’ll provide a list of IP attorneys for them to consult.  We create this list by inquiring of other clients or colleagues as to their recommendations and we’re constantly updating that list.  Your client will appreciate that you’ve taken time to do this and you’ll feel the confidence of knowing your client is being taken care of.

Regards,

Claudia Kihano Parker, Esq.
PARKER LAW GROUP, INC.
26300 La Alameda, Suite 220
Mission Viejo, California  92691
Phone: 949/916-9910
Fax:  949/916-9911
cparker@parkerlawgroup.com
www.parkerlawgroup.com

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About Dan Gallo

I'm a small business lifer, starting/running businesses since I sold seeds door-to-door as a kid in The Bronx. I've played guitar and enjoyed baseball since I was 5 (born a NY Yankees fan). Just prior to marrying Kim in 1983 I became a Christian. We have two sons; Daniel's a musician & social media expert with a smart, insightful sense of humor, and Adam who recently graduated from Brooklyn College double majoring in Creative Writing/Literature and Anthropology. Adam now works in the non-profit sector. Since 2002 one thing we love to do together is go on service/missions trips to Belize. We've collectively spent 60+ weeks in Belize with this missions organization http://twaw.org. I started my 1st company in January 1985, and been self-employed ever since. I sold my last company, Mentor Communications Group, in '04. After 2 years w/ the acquiring company I started The Allasso Group, LLC doing Small Business Consulting, Fund Raising/Capital Raise-up Campaigns, Sales Strategy, Outsourced Sales Agency work, & Digital Marketing Programs (Social Media, SEM, etc.) since April 2006. Notable projects: Hired as Small Business Advocate and Social Media Director for IBM's "Supplier-Connection" - Feb '11-Dec '13. Hired as COO to help turn-around late stage start-up software company myVRM. Jul12-Dec '13 Hired as CEO of CoupleWise.com, a Digital Health2.0 app, to write business plan, raise seed capital, & completely redesign and relaunch the app. Aug '16 I won a Finalist spot for MassChallenge UK's 2016 fall cohort in London from Sept thru Nov. Started Oct15 - Current. I enjoy helping turn-around struggling small businesses, and launching new business ventures. Feel free to contact me with opportunities.
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