Understand Your Clients by Becoming Them

If you’d like to improve your client service, start by understanding how your typical clients experience every interaction they have with you and your staff.

Here’s an easy exercise to get you started:

  1. On a whiteboard or large easel-sized post-it note, draw the image above, and divide it into quadrants.
  2. At the top of the drawing, list one part of your client experience.  A good one to start with is your waiting room.
  3. In each quadrant, take smaller post-it notes and ask everyone (your lawyers and staff) to answer each of the four questions as many times as they can.
  4. Be sure to answer each question from your clients’ perspective, beginning each post-it response with the word “I” (I wonder …, I see …, I hear …, etc.).
  5. Take each negative response (“I hear my lawyer complaining to someone about another client.”  “I wonder if she complains about me?”  “I will tell my friends not to trust her.”) and brainstorm at least 7 ways to address it.
  6. Spend at least one hour each week working to fix the negative things so your clients have less to complain about.
  7. Repeat monthly with a different part of your client experience like your website, your bills and even your retainer agreements.
2 Responses to Understand Your Clients by Becoming Them
  1. Mark Kelly
    May 10, 2012 | 5:17 am

    Matt – I am sorry I missed you at Avvocating – but glad we are connected now.

    Great post to remind us all to get into our clients’ minds – we all get so involved in our day-to-day activities that we forget about things like the phone voice response system message we recorded 4 years ago.

  2. Jackson
    January 27, 2013 | 12:40 pm

    I’m speaking at a function of behalf of my divorce lawyer, McKinley Irvin (http://www.mckinleyirvin.com), who was amazing when he helped me two years ago. We have since become friends. I was brainstorming about what it takes to make a great impression on potential/current clients as a lawyer. I was sort playing the above game inside my head, but in the reverse. I keyword searched some words and this post popped up. Now I have a whole new assortment of questions for McKinley, and a whole new direction in which to take my comments. Thanks for this amazing post!!!

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