Monday, July 24, 2006

Herding Cats Part 2: Building a Brand Requires People Who Care More About Team

I met with an in-house attorney who refers about $2 million in legal work to large firms who told me "I don't have a favorite law firm, I just have some attorneys that I like." One thing became clear when I heard that and connected it with much of the market research our there: The problem with branding a law firm is that most attorneys want to do things "their way" and have their own ideas about what serving the client means. From the customer's perspective, this means a completely inconsistent customer experience from lawyer to lawyer within a firm. What is so amazing about the Starbucks brand is that my 15-syllable latte tastes the same at the Starbucks in Vienna Austria (really, it does!) as it does right here in Boston. While it is easy to train a barrista to make a latte in a consistent way, it is very difficult to get lawyers to provide a consistent experience because they don't like to be told what to do. It begs the question then: Can firms truly claim they care about serving the customer when they allow each of their attorneys to do whatever they want and not what equates to good service in the mind of the customer? Exemplar Law Partners brings attorneys together who understand that service is in the eye of the customer, and that providing a consistent and reliable experience for our customers is what makes them confident in our ability to deliver of good product time after time. It is building the brand of Exemplar through the selection of service-minded attorneys that allows us to stand behind it with a satisfaction guarantee. . . a move which few firms in this nation have made and one which signals to each of our customers how much we care about them. I don't know many business that I purchase products from who do not stand behind their products either. . . it is simply a statement of belief in what you do and who you are. Ironically, I rarely return any products becuase most companies I purchase from care enough about their product to make it well (which is why they guarantee the product in the first place). Our industry seems to have a long way to go, but the professionals at Exemplar are happy to be leading it in the right direction!

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