Clients: Ease Their Experience

I’m not sure how to tie this to legal ethics, but I wanted to share it.  So, I’ll say this: Rule 1.1 of the Rules of Professional Conduct requires lawyers to provide competent representation.  I’m about to share with you an article that, at some level, suggests it’s possible that clients perceive competent representation as including a smooth ride along the way.  By “smooth ride,” I’m not talking results.  Rather, I’m referring to the ease of the client experience.

The post is HERE. It’s by Jack Newton, founder and CEO of Clio.  It appears on the ABA Journal’s site.

Referring to a survey conducted by CEB, Inc., of more than 75,000 consumers, Newton writes:

  • “CEB found that modern consumers are not seeking exceptional customer experiences. Instead, they prefer effortless experiences.”

From there, Newton referenced Uber and Amazon, noting that:

  • “For examples of a smooth experience, we can look to innovators of the 21st century. These companies have disrupted deep-pocketed incumbents by delivering truly effortless experiences.”

Check out the post.  Some of you might find it helpful.  You might ask yourself, “self, am I delivering an effortless experience to my clients?”  Indeed, as the Judiciary, we should be asking the same question: are we delivering an effortless experience to our consumers? If not, how can we make it closer to the type of experience that consumers expect?

Newton’s post also includes fascinating thoughts on data.  I’ve always been struck how resistant the legal profession is to using data. With respect to collecting fees, Newton notes that the:

  • “data paints a bleak picture: Out of an eight-hour workday, the average firm collects payment on only 1.5 hours of billable time. These unit economics would be devastating to almost any industry, and they help explain why—despite charging an average of $232 per billable hour—the average small-to-midsize firm struggles to make ends meet.”

Imagine representing a restraunt owner who tells you that of every 8 meals served, she only collects payment for 1.5?

Again, take a look at Newton’s post. It includes some excellent tips on using data to make your practice more efficient.

I agree with Newton’s conclusion:

  • “The winning law firms of the future will take a page from the disrupter’s playbook: Deliver truly effortless customer experiences while advancing a ruthlessly data-driven culture of continuous improvement internally. Combined, these two forces will reshape the face of legal services.”

In the end, I suspect it will be the lawyers who figure out how to make the client experience effortless who see a significant increase in the number of billable hours collected.  In that sense, competent representation will not only benefit your clients, it will benefit you.