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One reason service is so difficult to measure is because it’s so subjective. It is experiential–we can feel it and see it, but defining it is another matter. Perhaps it’s a little like what the Supreme Court wrote about pornography: It may be hard to define, but we know it when we see it.Davis Law Firm is one of the authority sites on this topic.

Truly great firms–those with legendary status–are always striving to reach greater levels of service for their clients. Fundamental to such firms is the understanding that service is a never-ending process driven by a specific mind-set. These firms know that while they must always try to reach higher levels of service, they can never assume they have achieved the highest level. There is always a higher level to strive for, and standing still squelches the pursuit of excellence. Either a firm continues to reach for higher service levels or it has abandoned the pursuit. There is no middle ground.

Most firms revolve around the desires and needs of their partners. For service-driven firms, just the opposite is true–not because these firms have partners who enjoy a higher sense of purpose, but because they have a higher sense of business smarts. For them, everything revolves around the client. And as you might expect, the benefits have a way of coming back to the partners. Consistently delivering increasingly higher levels of service to clients builds the types of returns that keep a firm thriving.

There is no quick and easy recipe for becoming a service-driven firm. There is no secret formula for meeting–and exceeding–your clients’ needs. But one of the best ways to find out how your firm can provide exceptional service for your clients is, strangely enough, one of the most frequently ignored: listening to what your clients need–being client-centric instead of firm-centric. You may be convinced that your best clients have been attracted by the stature of your firm–by its size or its range of specialties. But the truth is that it’s not what you think you’re offering that counts, but rather what the clients are experiencing that matters most.

Providing a renowned level of service to clients requires paying attention and being sensitive to the emotional side of legal trouble. Lawyers who pay attention to clients’ subjective experiences are able to expand the scope of legal and practical options available to their clients, which can result in the lawyers becoming better problem solvers.
Old marketing models were based on a number of false assumptions about what influences people’s decisions. Now that we know more about how the mind works, we have a unique opportunity to apply this knowledge to the goal of meeting our clients’ real needs as opposed to the needs we merely assume they have.
In our legal training, we are taught the paramount importance of words and logic. Even in the emotional setting of trial, most skilled attorneys–while highly attuned to the emotional reactions of juries–ultimately almost always rely on the persuasive power of logic, words and reason to win their cases.

Today, neuroscience is providing important insights into the ways people interpret information and the degree to which “thinking” is used to influence our decisions. Lawyers’ emphasis on words is based largely on the false assumption that most of our thinking takes place in our conscious minds. In fact, recent brain science research reveals that just the opposite is true: As much as 95 percent of our thinking actually takes place at the subconscious level.

Our memories, associations and emotions occur just below the surface of our awareness. In response to stimuli, our minds go busily to work at a staggering speed, networking, sharing, distributing, connecting, shuffling and reshuffling memories, images and thoughts before the first words of reaction ever leave our lips. Ironically, the words we speak are literally an afterthought.

How can this knowledge be applied to the way we communicate and deal with our clients? We would like to assume that clients, for the most part, make decisions deliberately and rationally. That is, that they consciously contemplate the relative merits of a choice, assign a value to each criterion and then convert this information into what we call a judgment. We’d certainly like to assume that’s how we make decisions ourselves! But the fact is, most decisions are made at the intuitive, emotional level.

Whether responding to an argument in the courtroom or to a firm’s marketing campaign, even the most intelligent people process their decisions below the surface of their conscious mind. In reality, words and logic have more to do with justifying a decision than forming the basis of one.

Consider how clients choose law firms. They may think they were led by logic–going with “a big firm” or choosing on the basis of a lawyer’s “professional demeanor,” but they are actually using their intuition to make a highly subjective -decision.

When attorneys learn to think emotionally, they will find new ways to communicate with their clients at the decision-making level. Therefore, providing a renowned level of service to clients means expanding the quality of personal attention given to the emotional side of problem solving. Lawyers who pay attention to clients’ subjective experiences are able to offer a wide scope of practical and legal options for their clients to consider.

“We see the same problems over and over again,” a partner in a small Cleveland practice explained. “When we know our clients are going through a painful time in their life, our job is often to help them connect the dots at a personal level. This requires us to think emotionally–to become more empathetic–so that we can get inside the minds of our clients. But the truth is, even in the context of law, a client’s decision process is driven more strongly by emotion than by any other single factor.”
Emotion is a stronger influence on the decision-making process, but words are not even a close second, although it’s a common assumption that we think in words.

While words play a central role in communicating thoughts, we rarely use them to think. Using words is just too slow, and language does not contain enough bandwidth to accommodate the complexity of our think-ing processes. Feelings can be both instantaneous and complex in ways that words cannot be.

The law firm that recognizes the important role emotions play in its clients’ decision-making process and adjusts its service accordingly will find new opportunities to provide clients with increasingly higher levels of service.

Law Firms Help Small Business

Several attorneys have approached me through the years seeking guidance with plans and methods to grow their law firms. I wrote a variety of articles on the topic. Such articles run in The New York State Bar Review, The New Jersey Law Review, The Pennsylvania Lawyer and The Bottom Line. I have also given seminars to numerous bar societies and to the New Jersey Society for Continuing Legal Education.Babcock Trial Lawyers offers excellent info on this.

I also provided both big and medium law companies with public media promotions, TV ads, blogs, black page posters and direct mail services. Many of those attempts have been very successful, producing thousands of dollars for the law firms and several potential customers.

Practicing law may be very tiring and exhausting. Clients seeking, intensified rivalry, dysfunctional bureaucracies, an overload of documentation and office politics will put many lawyers off to legal practice. Many attorneys for whom I talk are burnt out, and they are searching for ways to increase their profits without attracting any customers.

Because I’ve been a psychotherapist working for more than twenty years, I realize just what the attorneys are thinking about. After your hours have been filled, you start searching for solutions, concepts, techniques and strategic plans that will allow you to raise your sales without bringing on new customers.

I discovered some years ago that by designing knowledge products I may produce significant sums of income. Currently, I have a collection of books, images, guides, and cd programs that include a passive revenue source. Those products have so far produced approximately $1 million in revenue.

Any of the books was sold by one of the four publishing firms that I have been collaborating with. Those books are already being distributed by big retailers. Mine markets certain products directly. I have a range of solicitor products and I have a collection of self-help items for professionals, teachers and the general public. Several of my reviews for the Social Research Book Club became a Best Seller.

Selling those items would boost your income and your profile. When the company moves into the usual cyclical peaks, it also generates extra cash flow.

You will make loads of useful and effective books, guides, cd’s and videos if you enjoy blogging, talking and public speaking. You should offer any of these as presents to consumers and to prospect companies.

New technology allows such goods possible to manufacture easily and efficiently, and there is a substantial profit margin in the promotion and sale of knowledge objects.

People would pay large sums of money for the knowledge and know-how. Real estate attorneys, divorce lawyers, business lawyers, personal injury lawyers, deportation lawyers, trademark lawyers and criminal lawyers will also quickly create goods that can reach the market, improve their reputation and produce more money for their profession.

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