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6 June 2014
Speak to those involved in delivering the best customer service and the saying “the customer is always right” will come up somewhere in the conversation. Having worked in an industry driven by customer service for many years before joining JWP Solicitors, this ethos was drilled into our Practice Director at every opportunity, but what does it actually mean? The law of averages tells you that the customer cannot always be right, so does it mean that even when the customer is wrong, they are right?
No, clearly sometimes the customer will be wrong, however it is our job to ensure that the customer feels like we have treated them as an individual, that we understand them and when required can empathise with their issue, even if we cannot give them the outcome they are looking for. Some of the best service I have received over the years has been when I haven’t got the outcome I wanted, however I have come away knowing why I haven’t and that I was understood and listened too. As well as politeness and knowledge, clearly the whole purpose behind customer service is giving the customer a level of service that makes them feel like they aren’t just a number/letter.
The legal sector, as with many others is driven by knowledge and service. Clients pay for the knowledge that solicitors have, however they also expect a high degree of customer service alongside that; politeness and niceties are not enough, the client’s expectation is for more, much more and sometimes this is where it all goes wrong.
The law is clearly complex, whatever area you practice, however the client pays to have those complexities interpreted into a language they can understand. In an industry where communication is king, it would be my opinion that this is the area where solicitors get it wrong by failing to manage their client’s expectations or worse still not listening to what the client wants or is asking. In this age of Twitter, Facebook et al where a firm’s reputation can be fostered or destroyed in the blink of an eye, it is imperative that we get it right.
So is the customer always right? If you deliver the best service possible, manage their expectations and communicate with them, then yes, even when they are wrong they go away thinking they are right, and surely that’s all that matters!!