The goal of the “What About Clients?” 12 rules is outrageous client service–but the 12 Rules’ way of getting there is to align the interests of clients/customers and service providers. They were derived from the “How To Practice Law” section of our firm’s Practice Guide, written for associates and paralegals in 2000. The rules, like service itself, are not perfect, and can be improved. Promise: This model works–if you work at it. Follow these rules by building a disciplined culture at your shop where they are enforced and kept alive–and your clients and firm both get stronger and better together.
You’ll see repeat business. You’ll make money. And assuming you have the talent pool, and the right people to do the work, you can steal and keep any good client you covet. No limits.
The Catch: Instituting and keeping at the 12 Rules (as opposed to just following them) is very, very hard work, whether your firm already has a passion for customer service, or has been happy going from day to day with only the faintest sense of its mediocrity. Real client service is as difficult and as important as your day-to-day work. But the two must be merged:
1. Represent only clients you like.
2. The client is the main event.
3. Make sure everyone in your firm knows the client is the main event.
4. Deliver legal work that changes the way clients think about lawyers.
5. Over-communicate: bombard, copy and confirm.
6. When you work, you are marketing.
7. Know the client.
8. Think like the client–help control costs.
9. Be there for clients–24/7.
10. Be accurate, thorough and timely–but not perfect.
11. Treat each co-worker like he or she is your best client.
12. Have fun.