Profiting by Giving Clients a Great Customer Experience

Avis happy customer experience car rentalWhen it comes to delivering value, law firms can learn from Avis rent-a-car about creating a great client experience. When I land at an airport, Avis sends me an email telling me the parking space number where my rented car is ready to go. I just love it.

The email tells me that based on my preferences, the car is a midsize and the contract declines extra insurance and the gas refueling option. My wizard number and credit card are already entered and the keys are in the car. There is no waiting and it's a wonderful customer experience.

(What you are reading now is the positive word of mouth advertising that comes from a happy customer experience.)

Notice that the emphasis is on how the service is delivered. The goal is to give the customer a great experience, not just standard delivery of a product. For law firms this will be a shift in thinking. Lawyers focus their efforts on the quality of legal service, just as Avis makes sure the car is washed and working. But to generate new business and get good word-of-mouth, lawyers should also create a nice experience when clients get their legal work.

Examples that come to mind are:

  • Send clients a link to a secure area on your website where their will, incorporation or other documents are ready to print out.
  • Get out of your office and deliver the check or result of your legal work to the client. And bring holiday cookies or a box of Cinnabons.
  • Send clients a selection of appointment slots that they can book online. This way they don't have to call your assistant and trudge through your calendar to find an opening. Many third-party online calendars allow lawyers to set aside slots when they are available for calls -- check with your IT staff.
  • Offer to talk to clients using Skype or Google Hangouts. This way neither you nor the client has to leave their office. Come on, you can do it -- it's 2014.

angry man computer adobe acrobatYour goal is to avoid the lousy customer experience I got from Adobe. A few years ago I paid good money to buy Adobe Acrobat 8 on a CD. I reinstalled Acrobat every time my computer had to be wiped or replaced. Recently I bought a new laptop and got a message saying I had reached the maximum level of activations for Acrobat. It was like being told after the fact that my car would start a limited number of times. I was furious.

Adobe offered no phone number for me to call -- just a stone wall with links to buy Acrobat for a monthly subscription of $18. I deleted Acrobat from my computer and swear to never buy another Adobe product again. This was a lousy customer experience and I never want to go through that again.

So ask yourself -- which experience do you want your clients to have?


Law Firm's New App Helps You Decide About Divorce

the grass is greener law firm appJust in time for the stressful holiday season, a Minnesota law firm has rolled out a new smart phone app helps that people decide if they should get a divorce.

The novel marketing tactic called "The Grass is Greener" is both practical and informative. The app is detailed quiz created by the Green Law Office of Golden Valley, MN, a boutique law firm with a practice focus in family law.

“We all have moments when we question our relationship, but there is a lot to consider before picking up the phone to call a divorce attorney,” said attorney Pamela Green. “The Grass is Greener app aims to keep couples together, by instigating a faster make-up time and providing resources that will benefit the relationship.”

Green spearheaded the development of the free app and collaborated with friends and colleagues in professions such as psychology, financial planning and career counseling for their input. 

Pamela green lawyer MinnesotaEach woman brought her personal, argument acumen along with her professional, counseling experience to create the relationship quiz offered on the app, which deals with the question, would the grass be greener without your spouse?

The app helps a person consider the real impact of divorce and take pause to remember the person they fell in love with in the first place. Available to iPhone and Android users, it uses a series of questions to help the frustrated individual find the true motivation behind the argument at hand and ultimately assess the strength of their marriage as well as the positive and negative impacts of divorce.

After taking the quiz, the individual is directed to resources that correlate back to the specific motivators for their own conflict with their spouse. For instance, if the argument is about money, financial management resources are provided. If the disagreement stemmed from the snow not being shoveled, you are directed to Dvorak Lawn Care. Or if the root is a lingering house project, the app provides a referral to Rick’s Handyman Services. Kids the issue? No problem, there are links to useful articles. If the dispute is about sex…well, then, appropriate tools are listed—such as the recommendation of a Marvin Gaye CD and some candles. 

“We needed to be honest about our personal experiences and recall the big arguments that we’ve had with our partners,” said Green. “The truth is, we’re not that much different--money, kids and sex seem to top the argument charts. And most arguments do not lead to divorce. Even though at times we feel just the opposite.”

To view the app, please visit the Apple App Store or in the Android Market.



Infographic: How to Rank Higher in Google Search Results

Pay attention to your home page and your bio, according to BrandYourself.

  • Bad First Impression: 1.5 Billion names are searched everyday in Google but people generally don’t look great on their first page.
  • If you want to look better, you need to choose your profiles wisely: For example, LinkedIn is the best social network for rankings, while WordPress is the highest ranking personal site builder. Even more interesting, popular pages like really have trouble ranking high.

breaking down a person's Google search results

Infographic: Law Firms Will Invest More in CRM in 2014

As the infographic below shows, 63% of law firms plan to invest additional funds into law firm CRM (client relationship management) in the next 12 months, according to a new survey by LexisNexis. A working system is extremely useful in business development, and can spotlight

  • "Who" at the firm knows "whom" at a client.
  • Sort clients by industry and growth potential.
  • Facilitate cross-selling.
  • Produce reports about every time a person or company made contact with the firm.

Yet marketing professionals and IT directors dread rolling out CRM initiatives, because 33% of law firms encountered lack of employee buy-in, and only 50% of firms saw a return on investment. Success turns on implementing CRM as a firm-wide strategic effort, as opposed to a technology implementation.Insights into Law Firm CRM



Ha Ha Ha and Ho Ho Ho from Wolf Greenfield

One of the continuing pleasures of working in law firm marketing is the annual holiday greeting from the Boston intellectual property law firm Wolf Greenfield. Not only did I get to hear from the warm and lovely Sally Crocker (only the cops call her Sara) but I also got their delightful 2014 calendar.

Of course you can read it online but I just love the physical, paper calendar with the nail hole in it so I can tack it up over my computer monitor (see below).

In years prior you could Plant Wolf Greenfield's Holiday Card and It Will Grow, get magnetized with
A Holiday Greeting with "Stickiness", or just enjoy their wackiness when Wolf Greenfield Deals Humor to Market IP Law.

Merry Christmas and Long May You Run, Sally Crocker and your merry band of colleagues.Happy 2014 from Wolf Greenfield

Hutchens Law Firm Spurs 'Pay it Forward' Giving Campaign

The Hutchens law firm of North Carolina has created a unique holiday program called High Performance Giving that it is sharing with the local community in hopes that it will spread throughout the state and beyond.

To create the spark to get the campaign started, Hutchens law firm is making special cards to individuals free of charge at firm locations in Fayetteville, Charlotte or Wilmington, NC.

Each card is printed with unique ID number. Once someone has a card, he or she may use it to perform a random act of kindness. This can be anything, such as participating in a community cleanup, paying for someone's order in the drive-through line or helping someone
with a flat tire. The act does not have to cost money.

Once the good deed has been done the cardholder makes note of the unique ID number and passes on the card to the person or organization that was helped.

Next they visit, enter their card number and post a comment about how they used the card. The website tracks comments of each card so that users can see how often it was shared, the good deeds that were done, and how many people were positively affected as the card was passed from person to person. People are encouraged to describe how their experience affected them.

To get a card, people simply visit any of three Hutchens law offices. To see the cards in action visit their website Cards may also be ordered from the website in bulk for businesses and organizations who wish to distribute them to members, customers and employees.

"Hutchens law firm is committed to giving back to the communities where we do business and where our employees live and work," says Managing Partner Terry Hutchens. "We look far to seeing just how far the good deeds of others spread this holiday season and beyond."

"With or without a card you can make the world a better place one action at a time. Don't let it stop with you."High Performance Giving Hutchens law firm



Get in on the 12 Days of Deals from kicks off its very first '12 Days of Deals'

Stuff your stockings with discounts and deals to grow your law practice from Each day, starting today to Tuesday, December 24th, will feature a deal of the day which will include a free gift or a popular item at a 25% savings.

For example, today's deal is a free copy of Top 10 Techniques to Law Firm Success White Paper (a $75 value). This authoritative research identifies the 10 most effective techniques that are absolutely must-do initiatives and will lead to law firm marketing success. Everything in this white paper is based on pragmatic experience and empirical data that was obtained directly via a survey of 377 marketing directors and marketing partners in a variety of capacities.

How does this work?

Top 10 Techniques to Law Firm Success White Paper - FREE Copy ($75 valueSimply visit and enter your details in the online form. A new deal will be delivered to your inbox at 8 AM.  If you like the deal, click through on the email to claim it. 

All deals will be available for the duration of the 12 Days of Deals event. If a deal doesn't interest you, you'll get the new deal in your inbox the following day.

¡Feliz Navidad! Fröhliche Weihnachten メリークリスマス
Veselé vánoce, С Рождеством, Vrolijk kerstfeest and Mutlu Noeller

Expect a Call from the Bully in the GC's Office

overbearing client taking advantage of law firmThe overbearing client who has been trying to chisel down your rates will be calling you soon, acting on reports that law firms are facing flat profits in 2014. Industry consultants are advising GCs to press their unfair advantage on struggling law firms.

"There has never been a more perfect time for in-house counsel to solidify the level of service they can count upon and to have their law firm(s) formally present to them what they feel that they can do for them in the new year," says an article in the Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, a publication for in-house lawyers.

The grim news about law firm profits is propaganda. The drumbeat about the tough law firm economy smacks of a concerted PR effort. Two reports in particular are being bandied about by gleeful in-house counsel:

  • It began last summer with a report that "Demand is down and affecting rates, revenue and profits." It was a good headline, but the underlying Citi-Hildebrandt research was more wishy-washy and even said, "low single-digit profit growth is good!"
  • There are bulletins about a dramatic downturn in the attitudes of managing partners regarding price competition, commoditized legal work and more non-hourly billing. This is based on an Altman Weil report, which also said that billing rates are going up and that economic performance was up for 62.8% of law firms in 2012.

The GCs and their stalking horses are ignoring contrary news that the average rates they pay to lawyers are going up, and surveys of GCs saying that they will have more litigation files in 2014.

My advice: when the call comes, be prepared to talk about alternative fee arrangements, lean staffing and prompt status reports. Be ready to offer value-added benefits like free CLE and regular visits to talk about business priorities.

But there's no good reason to give a discount.

Attracting the Always-Connected Mobile Client

Get a free recording of this webinar at

Profiting with Mobile MarketingClients may walk away from their computers and put down their tablets. But most of them will never be out of reach of their cell phones. And that's why we're talking about Profiting with Mobile Marketing in a free webinar today.

Most people have smartphones and they use them to browse the web -- including lawyer websites.  But based on my review of what's online, attorneys are missing this important marketing point.

Today at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern, I'll tell you:

  • What IS, and what is NOT mobile-friendly.
  • Attracting new business with a mobile website
  • 4 Selling Situations where you need a mobile website

You can either attract new business with a responsive mobile website, or you can send them on to a lawyer who does. For those of you who would like to open more files, I invite you to join us on Profiting with Mobile Marketing - a free webinar today.


How to Pick a Good Picture of Yourself

photographer in studipSpeaking to a group of lawyers recently, I advised the attorneys to be sure to put a color picture on their LinkedIn profile. Afterwards a man confided in me that he hated getting a picture taken. He never liked how he looked -- and I totally sympathized.

I recommended he visit a professional photographer and then ask his friends and family to choose the best picture. That took the decision out of his hands. He was slim and mature and I told him he had nothing to worry about. He still wasn't happy about it.

When I look at pictures of oursleves, many of us are our worst critics. Here are some tips to rebut the inner fault-finder:

  • Do not go into a bathroom and take a "selfie" with your cell phone camera, unless you're using the photo on a dating site for teenagers.
  • Do not use an outdated photo when you were younger and prettier. When people see you in real life they'll be struck at how much older you've gotten.
  • Go ahead and get a picture taken when you're heavier than usual. Chances are you'll get more fit and when people see you they'll be impressed that you look better.
  • Dress the way you ordinarily do at work. Over the last 10 years I have visited a lot of law firms and casual dress is the norm today. When I do see a man in a suit and tie, it appears that the guy is trying too hard.
  • Ladies, wear something that flatters you. Do not wear tight or stretchy clothes unless you're a runner or someone in their 20s. If you have to ask your man whether the outfit makes you look fat -- it does.
  • Don't make a giant grin if it turns your face big and round. Try a Mona Lisa smile instead.
  • If you have a double chin, position yourself so that you look up at the camera. This pulls your neck skin tighter.
  • Should you have an eagle beak, look straight into the camera. Singer Joan Baez used this technique successfully.
  • Wrinkles are OK in my book. Even kids nowadays appreciate the look of experience.
  • Read Is Your Attorney Headshot Telling the Real Story?

larry bodine cartoon fiverrIf there is something about your appearance that troubles you, spend the money to pay a professional who knows how to make people look good. Lighting and angles make all the difference.  Photography is digital nowadays, and a pro will edit out your moles and splotches.

And just for fun go to, where artists will do anything for $5. I sent a photo to an artist in the UK who turned it into a cartoon. I now use it for my Twitter Avatar.