In the midnight hour she cried, more, more, more

The secret to success isn’t really a secret. You already know it. You know that the key to building a successful business, career, marriage, or life lies is giving people more than they expect.

More than they want, more than they need, more than they deserve.

Even more than they paid for. When a client pays you $1000, give them $1100 of value.

If you can’t do more, do it better. Faster. Or cheaper. When the client expects the work to be done in two weeks, do it in one. When they expect to pay $5000, send them a bill for $4500.

Give your referral sources more referrals and more introductions. If you pay referral fees, give them a bigger percentage. Give your prospects and subscribers more information and more attention.

When you give people more than they expect, you earn their appreciation, their (repeat) business, and their referrals.

No, not everyone will reciprocate. Some will hire you, some won’t. Some will send you lots of referrals, some won’t send you any. Some will promote your events, share your content, and give you positive reviews, some won’t lift a finger.

That’s okay. Because giving more isn’t about quid pro quo. It’s about establishing a mindset of abundance and a reputation for generosity. It’s about invoking the Law of Attraction.

When you give everyone more, you will get more. You just won’t know when or from whom.

You don’t have to go crazy and give away the store. Value comes in many different colors. Write and call a little more often. Be a little nicer or a little more accessible. Serve a better brew of coffee in the office (and use real half-and-half, not that powdered stuff, k?).

Continually ask yourself, how can I do more in this situation? How can I exceed expectations?

When giving more becomes your default, you will find yourself getting more.

One way to exceed expectations is to manage expectations. This shows you how

Satisfied clients are a dime a dozen

Do you have satisfied clients? That’s a shame. You could do so much better.

You don’t want clients to be merely satisfied. You want them to have a big smile on their face and be excited (or relieved) they found you. You want them enthusiastically singing your praises to anyone who will listen.

You don’t want satisfied clients. You want fans.

A satisfied client will recommend you to friends and neighbors if they are asked for a recommendation. A fan will go out of their way to talk you up and pass out your cards.

In building your practice, one of your primary objectives should be to make your clients fall in love with you and your firm. One way to do this is to surprise and delight them by giving them more value and service than they expect.

Clients expect competent work, good customer service, and reasonable fees. If this is what you deliver, you’re probably not getting as many referrals as you could.

We just had some minor repairs done on the exterior of our house. Cracks patched, trim painted, a new side door, and so on. Although I know we got a good deal on the work, I couldn’t believe how much we had to spend for “minor” repairs.

When the job was done, the workers showed us some “extras” they had done at no additional charge, things we had originally passed on because they weren’t absolutely necessary and because we were already spending more than we had intended.

The dollar value of these extras couldn’t have been more than a few hundred dollars, but the gesture made a huge impression on us.

We got more than we expected. We felt better about how much we had spent and we were eager to tell others about the company.

Sure enough, as we were taking another look at the work, our neighbor from across the street came over. He said he needed to get his house painted and wanted to know if we were happy with this company’s work.

What do you think we said?

We said they did a GREAT job and we would DEFINITELY recommend them.

He asked for the contractor’s card.

We would no doubt have recommended them without the extra “surprises” they provided. But we went a step further and “sold” our neighbor on “our guy”.

If anyone else asks us for a recommendation, we’ll recommend them. But we’ll do more than that. When we hear that someone needs work on their house, we won’t wait for them to ask if we know anyone, we’ll make sure to tell them about our guy.

That’s the difference between a satisfied client and a fan.

Now, here’s what I want to know. I want to know if the contractor instructs his employees to “find” extras that need doing and do them, gratis. Is this his standard policy, because he knows the value of giving clients more than they expect?

If it is, that might explain why our guy has hundreds of five-star reviews and his competitors have so few.

Here’s how attorneys can get more five-star reviews and more referrals

Keeping clients happy is key to attorney happiness

Happy clients mean returning clients, referring clients, and clients who pay their bills.

All hail the happy client.

How do you make ’em happy? Surprise them.

According to research, it’s not positive outcomes that make people happy, it’s when those outcomes are unexpected.

If a client hires you and do the work they paid for, along with the usual level of care and concern (“customer service”), it is an even exchange. Money paid for services rendered.

When the client gets what they expected, they are satisfied, but no more. If you give them more than they expect, however, if you surprise and delight them, happiness ensures.

Look at the other way around. If you send a client your bill and they pay it, as agreed, you’re satisfied, right? You did the work and you got paid. NBD.

What if the client unexpectedly pays you a bonus. “Here’s an extra ,000, just because.”

Surprised? Yes. Happy? Hell yeah!

Okay, so how can you give your clients a positive experience they don’t expect?

Do the work a little faster. Send a bill for less than you estimated. Throw in work product they thought would cost extra.

Of course you can also surprise and delight them with customer service. They come to your office expecting to fill out a bunch of forms and then wait to see you. Instead, they see you immediately and learn they can fill out the forms at home. They expect you to talk all about yourself and how great you are. Instead, they find you asking about them and their kids. They expect you to bill from the moment they shake hands. Instead, you tell them the first visit is free.

Figure out what they expect and then surprise them with something better.

Start by making a list of the connection points clients have with you and your office. From the time they first see your ad or find your website landing page, they have expectations. What are they? What do they expect to read on your site? What do they expect about being able to contact you and ask questions? What do they expect when they call?

When a client gets a letter or a bill from you, what do they expect? Once the case is filed, what do they think will happen? When the case is over, what then?

Each interaction with you is an opportunity to surprise that client and make them happy. Start collecting ideas for each of those interactions.

How can you surprise them when they are in your waiting room, for example? They expect water, coffee, and soft drinks, right? What if you offered them a healthy fruit drink or a milk shake from the restaurant next door? They’ve got their kids with them and expect them to have nothing to do. You could provide toys and coloring books, but how about a separate play room and a designated employee to watch them while their parents are with you?

It doesn’t make much to give clients more than they expect because when it comes to dealing with lawyers, they don’t expect much. Look for opportunities to surprise your clients and keep them happy. They may not send you ,000 more than you billed, but you’ll be just as happy when they surprise you with two or three referrals.

More ideas for keeping clients happy: The Attorney Marketing Formula

 

What do clients want from their lawyers?

What do clients want from their lawyers? You can ask your clients what they want. You can conduct surveys. You can do research. But as Steve Jobs once said, “A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

A client comes in, thinking he wants a certain document or course of action. You show him his other options, recommend one, and tell him why.

A prospective client visits your website, looking for a solution he thinks he needs. He reads your articles and learns that something else might be better for him.

A client comes to see you, asking about your cheapest solution. You show him why this will cost more in the long run, or expose him to too much risk, and suggest a more expensive option.

A client wants you to go to trial. You show him why it makes sense to settle.

But your job is about more than the delivery of your core services. It is about creating the complete client experience. This includes how you answer the phone, how you schedule appointments, how you keep clients informed during the case, your billing practices, how you dress, your office decor, your bedside manor, and everything else.

If the client has hired an attorney in the past, they are probably expecting you to treat them the way other attorneys have. It probably won’t take much to exceed their expectations.

If they client hasn’t hired an attorney before, they may not know what to expect. That means you have to work a little harder to explain your recommendations. It means you have to manage their expectations, by under-promising, so you can over-deliver.

In your marketing, are you advertising or promoting the same services and features other attorneys offer or are you taking some risks and offering something different?

In any business or professional practice, you have to give clients what they want. But sometimes, they don’t know what they want until you show it to them.