Clients Remember How You Make Them Feel

Let’s face it. The disruptive economy has enabled a shift in the balance of power. It’s a buyer’s market. Customers are informed. They are not big on loyalty. And, they are in control. They want you on their terms. At every stage in their journey with you. Think of the relationship as a continuing dialogue that you never want to let go of.  

While current conversation about customer engagement tends to be focused on the online experience, customer engagement exists both online and offline. And, its application to professional services is just as relevant, critical and impactful as it is to the land of tangible products.

For years, one of my favorite marketing principles has been:

Clients don’t care how much you know. They want to know how much you care.

What you get, minus what you pay for, constitutes value and, in this context, value is a client’s experience with you and your firm, at every touch point you can possibly create. 

Engagement requires dialogue, interaction, participation, a human touch and memorability. It is the roadmap to loyalty, referrals and the robust practice you want. Here is how lawyers and law firms can serve that up, in spades:

  • Create touch points to give you a vehicle for face-to-face, real-time interaction, to keep them coming back.
  • Explore, set and manage expectations in advance to ensure that you know the criteria by which you will be evaluated. Now, you can meet and exceed them!
  • Give clients information. Train and educate.  Show what you do, for example,
    • Describe the steps involved in the engagement
    • Explain billing – what you are billing for and, importantly, because this is where value lives, what you have done that you are not billing for
    • Illustrate processes
    • Walk them through strategy and decision-making
    • Be frank about risks and problems.
  • Create opportunities for collaboration to deepen the connection by involving clients in the decision-making process.
  • Agree in advance about communication channels – by what means and how often should communication occur.
  • Maximize the interactivity of your thought leadership by engaging clients and connections in active conversation threads.

Whether a touch point occurs on your web site, social networks, by phone, or in-person, the engagement strategies are the same.  

As Maya Angelou said, “I’ve Learned That People Will Forget What You Said, People Will Forget What You Did, But People Will Never Forget How You Made Them Feel.”