There are limited ways for a law firm to differentiate from other firms. After all, the practice of law is basically the sale of hours (expertise) in exchange for fees. So how can a firm actually stand out from the rest?
There are essentially four categories of differentiation:
- Price (e.g., Wal-Mart)
- Service (e.g., Ritz-Carlton)
- Innovation (e.g., Apple Computer)
- CX (i.e., all three categories above)
So, what does CX actually stand for?
CX = the Client Experience
Translation: The overall holistic client experience with your brand (the firm). For years we’ve learned to ask clients how we’re performing. Perhaps even digging deeper than just the quality of our work. We’ve graduated to a level of client satisfaction by inquiring whether or not our lawyers are returning clients’ calls in a timely manner. That’s sufficient, right? Not in today’s competitive climate.
According to our friends at CX Pilots, that’s just the beginning. Table stakes if you will. There is a trend today where professional service firms are differentiating from the competition by aspiring to make every client interaction frictionless and uplifting. And not just the interaction with your lawyers.
“Service is what and how you deliver – experience is how what you deliver is perceived and felt.” – CX Pilots
To illustrate: Let’s say you’ve booked reservations at a wildly popular restaurant for a very special occasion. You valet your car, finally get seated and have a lovely dinner. The next day your friend, inquiring about the popular restaurant, asks “how was the food”? You respond “outstanding.” The food = the client service. But in retrospect, you’ll never go back because of the overall “experience.” The valet stole your sunglasses, you were seated an hour late and the noise level was so high you shouted across the table. Was the food great? Absolutely. But the sum of the entire experience was poor.
According to the 2022 Salesforce report, “The state of the connected customer,” 88% of those surveyed stated that the experience is more important than the actual product or service. [salesforce-state-of-the-connected-customer-fifth-ed.pdf]
Steven Keith, founder of CX Pilots, said: “CX is what clients think and feel about the quality of the price, services delivered, and their overall journey in the broader context of their relationship with the firm.”
For more information about the client experience, visit CX Pilots at www.cxpilots.com.
Jim is a co-founding principal of LawVision and widely recognized as a leading authority on sales and business development in the legal industry. His innovative method for teaching sales skills to lawyers and law firm executives consistently helps legal professionals win new clients and grow firm revenue. You can reach him at email@example.com | Office: (817) 310-6299 | Mobile: (949) 306-3259.
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