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The Common Scold



The Common Scold is named after a cause of action that originated in Pilgrim days, when meddlesome, argumentative, opinionated women who displeased the Puritan elders were punished by a brisk dunk in the local pond. Believe it or not, the tort lasted until 1972, when State v. Palendrano, 120 N.J. Super. 336, 293 A.2d 747 (N.J.Super.L., Jul 13, 1972) pretty much put it to rest. But the thought of those feisty women, not afraid of a little cold water, has always cheered me up and inspired me. I first used the moniker as the name of my humor column at the University of San Francisco School of Law many moons ago, and revive it now for this blawg!


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PAINLESS SERVICE

Complaint1 Here's a quick and easy way to improve your client relationships: Hire a client advocate, says David Swanner on the South Carolina Trial Law Blog (with the tag line, " Using technology to be a better  trial lawyer.")

Hardison & Leone has such a staffer, he says, (as well as a Client's Bill of Rights.)

A client advocate can serve as an ombudsman, and even reach out to clients on a regular basis to see if everything's copacetic.

All very easy steps that can have big pay outs in customer service.

Swammer also has an interesting guest post on Evan Schaeffer's Notes from the Underground, offering 12 tips on how tech can make you a better trial lawyer!

And Reid Trautz has a fascinating observation: It's a good idea recognize that your clients may have a bit of "buyers' remorse"  after signing up as your client... so take steps to address it! Call them within 24 hours, says Trautz, and then send them a small "gift" -- perhaps your most recent newsletter, or even a business card with your unlisted number.

February 23, 2005 | Permalink

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Tracked on Feb 24, 2005 12:56:41 PM

Comments

I had never really thought about the idea of lawyers giving their new clients a courtesy call after they had signed a contract as to prevent hesitations on the part of the client, but it sounds like a solid idea. I know that people on the whole tend to be very leery of lawyers, even when they know that they are contracting with a good, hard working lawyer that their friends have recommended. I think that calling them after the first day has passed in order to talk to them and smooth over any further questions or concerns they may have is a wonderful idea that would go a long way to repairing a lot of client concerns with the legal profession. It would open up the lines of communication right away and make you seem more accessible to them, which would then boost their confidence in your abilities.

Posted by: Baby Gifts | May 31, 2007 1:18:26 AM


I believe these tips go beyond the law profession and can be applied to just about any business. I, in fact, do something very similar. My business cards all have my generic business email address on them that I use for general questions and for that first contact. However, once I sign a client, I will give them my personal email and my cell phone number. This lets them know that their email wouldn’t get lost in the jumble of everyday correspondence and that I am available to speak with them at any time, even when I’m not in the office. It makes them feel special, and it doesn’t cost me a thing. I also give out small “gifts” in the form of ink pens or whatever the most recent promotional item is – postcards, bookmarks, and refrigerator magnets are all things my business does to make clients feel welcome while at the same time promoting ourselves.

Posted by: Baby Gifts | Jun 14, 2007 8:26:16 PM

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