Monday, 7 October 2013

The Customer Experience

I had some very interesting meetings last week with some new clients. One was a large charity dealing with heritage premises. What was most interesting was the move to an entirely 'Customer Experience' focus - recognising that without their customers they were nothing and that, therefore, they must not only satisfy their customers, they must delight them and exceed their expectations.

This can often require a complete change of mindset - which, as we all know, can be difficult. More than a year ago, I spoke with a group of young musicians who, having just left conservatoire, were looking at just how they made a living as a musician. They had formed an events band and wanted to play for weddings and parties. We spoke about what was most important and they had a difficult time when I told them that, in this band, they were not musicians, they were entertainers. Their job was to entertain the guests and make sure they had a good time. Nothing else. Wonderfully they went away and though about it, and have now embraced the idea - and seem to be doing very well, because they go out of their way to find out what their clients want, and exceed those expectation.

If that sounds familiar to you - and you work in a law firm or a set of chambers - then you are very unusual. In my experience, very few lawyers know what the expectations of their customers are, let alone want to try to exceed them. Most lawyers don't even want to think about having customers.

Consider barristers moving into public access work. Suddenly they are closer than ever to the customer. They need to understand their potential customers, find out what they want from a legal adviser and then work very hard to exceed the expectations of their customers/clients. Surely that is not contentious? Surely that isn't hard to grasp? And yet very few chambers are doing it.

We are all in the customer experience business and we all need to delight our customers. Being clever is not good enough and fulfilling the customer expectation is the bare minimum.

Delight a customer today!

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