What values are most important to clients?

A suggested listing of traits most valued by clients set forth the following items:

   1. Show up on time
   2. Do what you say
   3. Finish what you start
   4. Say please and thank you

These are the single, simplest, most important rules to remember in dealing with all people, not just clients, in my opinion.

There is an interesting article in the current issue of “The Lawyers Competitive Edge,” about a survey from Robert Half Legal (placement firm). The question was asked: “When clients are deciding whether or not to continue working with your firm, which one of the following attributes or considerations would you say ranks highest on their priority list?”

The resulting ranking was as follows:

Reliability/trust:                                  45%

Relationship with client                   20%

Industry specific knowledge            14%

Timeliness/meeting deadlines         9%

Bill rates                                                 7%

Diversity at your firm                             1%

Other/don’t know                        4%

This list is consistent with the 4 items above.  In other words, reliability and trust (see above, “do what you say,” “finish what you start,” etc.) are the single most important value for clients …. At least in the minds of lawyers (and I suspect in the minds of clients, as well).

Years ago, a study showed that what lawyers thought was important to clients (e.g., low fees) was listed in almost exactly the opposite ranking based on a clients’ survey (fees, for example, was low on the list).  Thus, if this is a survey of lawyers,  I would accept it with a “grain of salt,” though intuitively I believe it to be correct.

Happy New Year to y’all!  Best wishes for a healthy and happy 2007!


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