24 Feb Customer experience positioning: what brand of excellent client experience do you (really) provide?
Do you offer a great client experience? Great – but so do most law practices: just ask them!
Whilst cynicism continues to surround law practice claims of offering a superior client experience , the firms that have been more successful in using this in their promotional marketing (as well as through the delivery of services) are those that have stopped trying to be all things to all people, and have actually positioned their brand of (excellent) client service in contrast to others’.
Is there such as thing as universally superior client service? In that, if an experience is superior for one client, will it be superior for another?
Many seem to think so.
- Books, blogs and consultants tell us about the essential features and principles of every customer experience.
- There are a million websites offering ‘all’ customers an excellent customer experience
- Companies are increasingly ranked and rated on the quality of the customer experience – suggesting it is possible to make consistent, objective measures of experience quality
The implicit assumption behind these approaches is that ‘one size fits all;’ that what’s good for one customer will be good for another.
This approach makes sense to an extent:
- Clean tablecloths are better than dirty tablecloths
- Being on-hold for one minute is better than being on hold for 25 minutes
But it doesn’t take too much analysis to realise there are limits to this approach.
Different customers have different preferences and buying behaviours – and different experiences will be more or less appealing to different customers.
- value social interaction and a human touch, some don’t
- are introverts, some extroverts
- prefer an informal approach, some formal
Customers have unique:
- value priorities (time / emotions / risk / money / situation)
- prior experiences, demands and expectations
- cultural backgrounds
Increasingly law practices have a choice to make. In terms of client experience, should they try to be all things to all people? Or should they be bold and clearly position themselves as delivering one type of client experience over another? Are they willing to risk alienating some clients in return for significantly increasing their appeal to others?
As competition intensifies, more professional practices are choosing the latter approach.
They are not merely seeking to differentiate themselves by focussing on the customer experience, they are seeking to more clearly position and differentiate themselves by offering one specific type of customer experience.
Client experience positioning
Different clients have different preferences. Firms need to ask which of these clients and preferences they want to appeal to specifically.
In addition to some of the variables mentioned above (human touch, extroversion, formality, culture), firms should focus on what type of value they hope to create for their clients and what sort of experience those clients are seeking. Some examples or features of law practice service excellence include:
- Personal rapport / personable
- High trust and trusted advisor behaviours
- Commercial insights
- Pricing creativity / flexibility
- Costs consciousness and pricing trust
- IT-enabled low-touch delivery with minimal client time costs
- IT-enabled control and collaboration
- Speed, efficiency and responsiveness