How do your customers see you? When they arrive for a meeting, what do they experience? What do they see? How do they feel?
Do you work in a deadline-driven practice area, yet always show up late for appointments? Is your office strewn with other clients' files? Are there piles of unread letters in you in-box? Do your secretaries and staff regularly discuss confidential matters on the phone that people in your waiting room can hear?
Do you have magazines that your clients want to read? Do you have complementary wi-fi for them to use while they wait for you? Do you offer them more to drink than just coffee?
Don't think your clients pay attention to these things? You're wrong. And they're not just comparing their experience to the ones they've had with other lawyers — they're comparing it to the experiences they've had with everyone.
So, in 2010, Resolve to See Yourself as Others Do. Start by asking a friend your staff doesn't know to sit in your waiting room for an hour while you're "busy." Ask them to pay attention to what they see, hear, smell and feel, while recording the things they'd improve. Once you've gotten their list of things to fix — and there will be things on the list you've never noticed — work with your staff to fix them.