Customer service - often touted - less often delivered

That's the title of my Slaw post for today.  It reads as follows: Customer service is something that many different types of service providers talk about.  But it often fails in execution.  While many customer service concepts should be obvious, it is often not done well.  Sometimes its not easy when you are the one providing the service to see things from the customer / client's perspective. 

How many of us, for example, get frustrated at a repair service that says they will arrive at your house sometime on Tuesday.

Or when someone promises to show up at 2:00, and its now 2:30, and you have heard nothing.

Or going for a doctor's appointment at 9:00, but not getting to see him/her until 9:45.  Then leaving the appointment feeling that the doctor has rushed you through and not really listened.

So at the risk of stating the obvious, here's some things to think about when we deliver legal services.

Set realistic times for meetings and delivery dates.  Better to under promise and over deliver than be late or over a cost estimate.  And if for some reason you are going to be late for a meeting or a delivery date, contact the client ahead of time and explain. (Just don't make a habit of it.)

When promising delivery dates and setting fees, remember that we tend to overestimate the time it will take to do things we don't like / want to do, and underestimate the time it will take to do things we like / want to do.

Make sure you listen to and understand the client's concerns.  It may be routine to us, but new to them.

Make the service and documentation fit the need.  Simple is better in most cases. Don't provide a complex solution or lengthy documentation for matters that don't require it.

GeneralDavid CantonSlaw