Attorneys often have a hard time marketing their services, as they deal in services which values are subjective at best, and depend largely on the firm they’re with, and on the reputation that they and their firm have built.
So how do you make what one marketing pro has termed “your strategic differentiation” real?
Drago Adam of AdamAdGroup.com, a guest post (and above-mentioned marketing pro) on The Thoughtful Blogger, has laid out his premise on just this topic. He believes that what matters is to do something totally different from your competition–and to make sure it’s something customers (i.e., clients) consider important.
According to David J. Bilinsky of Thoughtful Legal Management (aka The Thoughtful Blogger), Adam’s idea has particular meaning for lawyers as “they try to distinguish their services from the law firm down the street - or over the Internet.”
“But if we provide great client service,” you might be thinking “isn’t that enough?” Not necessarily. Adam claims that great customer service has nothing to do with why clients will flock to your business (or, in this case, firm).
If you think back to all the sides of trucks or advertising premiums you’ve spotted bearing a company’s logo, you’ll realize how many had variations on the same theme: “We put customers first!” Adam explains that this sort of message should be relegated to the been-there-done-that…and-it’s-not-working archive. In fact, he says, it’s “designed to be ignored”.
All businesses or firms claim to serve customers well, yet few [firms] actually do. When you promise great client service, not only do you have an undifferentiated form of differentiation, but “nobody believes you”.
Everybody defines excellent customer service according to their whims and preferences. It’s the served, and not the server, who should claim great service. Adam offers a superb analogy: it’s like when a 15-year-old boy tries to slap a nickname on himself that he thinks is cool…when no one else has done him the favor. The moment you claim it for yourself, you sound desperate or boring.
So what should you stand on, if not a promise of servicing your customer or client? How about this…go for something unique and that the customers care for. That’s it in a nutshell.
For instance, there’s a rent-a-car company that doesn’t claim great customer service–which we agree there is no universal standard for. They do, however, offer to come and pick you up. That’s the differentiation, and that’s what makes it stand head and shoulders over its big name competition.
Try something “small and unique”, the marketing specialist advises. Something concrete and tangible that you do pretty well. Now market it. That’ll give you a strategy of differentiation…and that’s something your customers (or, in your case, your clients) will remember, and flock to you for.
To read more, go here: http://thoughtfullaw.com/2011/05/12/customer-service-is-not-a-marketing-strategy/#more-1514
Interested in learning how to master the value and pricing of your services? Check out this audio conference: http://www.c4cm.com/lawfirm/practical-methods-to-master-value-pricing-for-legal-services.htm
Graphic courtesy of Thoughtful Legal Management.