Service beyond

While in law school, the marketing mantra we learned was do good work and the world will beat a path to your door. This mantra is seductive because it suggests that you have to do only that which you love … legal work.

This philosophy suggests you don’t have to market your services, you don’t have to speak in public, you don’t have to write articles, and you don’t have to be concerned with clients’ wishes, even if their desires conflict with what you think they really need. In today’s world, irrespective of the past, that clearly is not the case.

In my earlier days, owning and operating manufacturing companies, my focus was to serve my customers. By doing so, I am proud to say that I earned not just their continuing business, I also earned their loyalty. That loyalty assured my companies’ continuity and growth.

As a lawyer, what are  you doing to earn the respect and loyalty of your clients? If you can’t answer quickly with specifics, you ought to go back to the drawing board. Better yet, you ought to ask your clients how they feel. In some circles, this is called a survey … However, I don’t mean the traditional survey … More on this in a later post.

Before I conclude here, though, I want to share an example of the type of service I’m talking about. Several weeks ago, during a trip Chicago, I shopped at Paul Stuart, a menswear store. (I’ve purchased clothes there before). This time, I bought an raincoat. The sleeves needed to be shortened. The first opportunity I had to wear the coat was in the wet and cool climate of New York two weeks later. To my surprise, the sleeves were cut too short.  I called Paul Stuart in Chicago. To their credit, their immediate response was to suggest I either go to their New York store or to a trusted tailor and then send them the bill.

I chose to go directly to the New York store; we were close by; we explained what had happened. They looked at the coat, agreed it was too short, and checked to see if it could be repaired. They said it could not be and offered to replace the coat with a new one. The sales manager, Mr. Barry Goldsmith, and his colleagues who assisted us were all very pleasant, professional and conciliatory — exactly what I would expect from a quality organization. While I expect this, I also know that it is rare to find in today’s business world.  I appreciated the attitude and actions of the Paul Stuart staff. This approach usually creates loyalty … and more business. And it did here.


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