Customer Service is Your Law Firm's Competitive Advantage

A case study on Zappos and how to set your firm out from the competition.

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Customer Service is Your Law Firm's Competitive Advantage

United States companies lose $62 billion in revenue every year from terrible customer service.

Surprised? We weren’t.

After all, creating a truly delightful customer experience is hard. Really hard.

This is even more true in law.

Clients come to us with their their legal issues, sure. But they're also coming to us with their motivations, aspirations, insecurities, and fears.

A 2016 article in The Lawyerist highlights this with some intense statistics:

  • Fewer than 10% of clients who call a law firm will actually get to speak to a lawyer.
  • More than 40% of people who leave a voicemail or fill out a web form wait two or three days before they hear back.
  • 11% of callers hang up within 10 seconds of calling a law firm because they’re frustrated at not getting to speak with the person they ask for by name.

Now is the time for firms to nail customer service. The firms that don’t will continue to fall further behind.

Today clients not only want, but expect, exception service. They interact with brands like Apple, Amazon, Zappos, and UPS - they know what quality feels like, and they want it from everyone.

Firms that prioritize client service will be able to differentiate themselves.


Consider the case of Zappos.

Zappos, founded in 1999, is now the World's largest online shoe retailer.

The company didn't gain traction because they provided a superior online shoe shopping experience. After all - plenty of online marketplaces tried (and failed) to capture this vertical.

Zappos' growth hack was their customer service.

Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, describes this differentiator perfectly. Zappos is a “service company that happens to sell shoes.”

In order to make this vision a reality, Zappos invested heavily in their customer support team and processes. A 2012 Business Insider article reported that new Zappos customer success representatives receive seven weeks of training and are encouraged not to use scripts.

This strategy worked for Zappos, and almost 20 years later it is still working. In July 2009 it was acquired by Amazon for $1.2 billion.

Law Firms + Client Success

Zappos may have billions in the bank, but it was their values that drove their differentiation - and thus their success. This is something every firm can learn from.

Here are some of the top tips and tricks for providing superior client success:

Communication is key. Be clear about the best way for clients to contact you and set a standard response time with them (ex: you’ll respond within 24-hours during the week).

Create a Roadmap. Clients often have anxiety over what is left to be done on their matter and what forward-looking expectations they should have. Outlining the process from the start can ensure a more seamless relationship.

Invest in your staff + make good hires. Zappos customer success representatives go through 7 weeks of training. Additionally, at the end of training each employee is offered around $4,000 to quit. Yes, you read that right. This ensure that they’re hiring people who are truly committed to the role.

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