Be Consistent Yet Customized: The Challenge All Law Firms Face
Think about your current clients. If each of them recommended your legal services to a friend, how would they describe working with your firm? Obviously their cases and outcomes would be different – so would your tactics for serving them – but would there be a positive common thread across all their experiences? How easy you were to reach or how excellent your bedside manner was?
If the customer experiences you deliver fluctuate from case to case, you’re not being flexible, you’re just being inconsistent.
This could easily impact your law firm’s business because a consistent client experience is a key factor in building customer loyalty and trust, two of the major influencers among legal consumers.
When you think it through, it all makes sense:
- Consistency breeds loyalty.
Franchises understand this on a whole other level. Consider the uniformity of the customer experience at Jimmy John’s. From food quality to store design to delivering on their brand promise of “subs so fast you’ll freak,” it’s absolutely clear what you’ll get when you walk into a Jimmy John’s. You’re not selling sandwiches of course, but think about which aspects of your client experience are most and least likely to create repeat customers and positive referrals.
- Consistency builds trust.
Parents already know that inconsistent rules and limits are confusing for children and leave them on shaky ground. The same goes for your client relationships. Keep your promises and be consistent with your communications. A weekly client email should indeed be weekly. Even a consistent “From” address or voice on the phone makes a difference. You might only have three people in your firm but if any of them could be contacting clients, you’re not exactly creating a strong bond.
- Consistency is hard to achieve but not for you.
Believe it or not, being consistent is actually easier for smaller businesses. Your first inclination might be to attribute a defined customer experience policy to large corporations but that’s focusing on the plan, not the implementation. Writing your own policies can feel like a nuisance, but imagine the challenge a national organization faces implementing theirs. For the small law firm, your advantage lies in your numbers: A law firm with only three employees only has three variables to align.
So how do you get consistent?
- Start simple.
Pick some area of variability and take steps to correct it in the next 30 days. If you’re not sure where to begin, ask your support staff. They probably have more than a few ideas about which customer challenges they’re facing. (Be ready to process their feedback a bit. People on the front lines often see problems, not necessarily solutions.)
- Create a bottleneck.
When facing the modern world of law firm marketing there are a lot of customer touch points – each one a potential risk. Having one person review all blog posts and social media shares might slow you down, but it will also ensure a more consistent voice. This in-turn helps define your brand, and if speed is something you’re really concerned about, take an honest look at your audience’s expectations. Your Monday morning blog could probably go out on Monday afternoon without doing any brand damage.
- Get on board.
To ensure a consistent experience, you need to have consistent staff. To that end, new and veteran employees alike need to get on board with this concept. Train yourself and your staff to understand the policies you set, your overall brand promise and what your clients are expecting.
Legal consumers face an embarrassment of choices in most cases. Building a consistent experience for your clients can help narrow those choices, and possibly save your law firm some embarrassment of its own.
If your law firm marketing isn’t driving towards a consistent client experience from square one, contact us. We know where to start.