Resolve to Let Your Clients Grade You

Report card

Once you've asked your clients what they expect from you, let them grade you on it.  Here's how:

  1. Make a list of 3-5 non-negotiable "Client Commitments" that you and your firm promise to keep in every matter with every client.
  2. Share those Commitments on your website and in every engagement agreement.
  3. With every bill (or at least quarterly), send your clients an old-fashioned "Report Card" that asks them to give you a grade on each of your Client Commitments.
  4. Follow up with the client each time you get a B or below to find out about specific ways you can improve.  
  5. At least yearly, schedule a "parent-teacher" conference to review your performance with the client.
  6. Consider refunding part of your fees every time a client gives you a C or D — and think seriously about giving a client's entire fee back (and helping them find another lawyer) when they've "failed" you, because you've probably failed them

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