Sunday, February 9, 2014

Creating Loyal Clients

Love your Clients and They will Love You, Too.

This past week, I got a very warm email from a former client. The "Re line" read:  "I miss my good friend and attorney."  

I had not heard from this client in several years.  But, when he has any type of legal problem, he contacts me. That's client loyalty. Here's a short excerpt from the email that makes me laugh and makes me very proud.  
How is the best attorney, this side of the Mississippi doing? I know you jumped ship and moved across the mighty Miss. so that would make you the best in the lower 48?
I represented this client in an insurance coverage dispute after a micro-burst during a thunderstorm destroyed his shop and compromised the integrity of his family's house.

What did I do over fifteen years ago to create such loyalty? Here's my guess:

  • I provided extremely high-quality client service;
  • I got the client an extremely favorable outcome;
  • I was creative, persistent, resilient, assertive, and brave;
  • I treated my client holistically, keeping in mind his emotional and psychological needs; and,
  • I purposely visited his home and got to know more about his wife and young daughter.

Chris Brogan, CEO of Human Business Works, sent me a newsletter this morning discussing customer loyalty to businesses. 

He describes three factors that make him remain loyal to a brand or business:
  • I will need to use this business's products or services more than once. 
  • The people involved in the experience made me feel welcome/important/worth it somehow. 
  • I have some level of access to people in this business beyond a "blind" customer service interaction.
Making our legal clients feel welcome, important, and deeply appreciated will turn them into loyal fans.

In a second email, my former client sent a photo of his house and of his lovely daughter, who is now 17 years old. Apparently, for all these years, they have called the house, "the house that Paula built" because they built it with the proceeds of the settlement of the lawsuit. 

It makes me proud and humble that my name has been used in such a wonderful way.  As lawyers, we often forget the impact we have on people's lives when we give them voice, validation, and vindication.  

This email exchange reminded me why I went to law school and why I continue to advise students to attend law school if they want to serve people while earning a comfortable living.  

My former client closed the email with this: "God bless you and anyone around you!!!!" Wow. 

My response: "Thank you." Just, thank you. 

No comments:

Post a Comment