Consumers and clients believe customer service has become increasingly bad, yet most businesses believe their customer service is above average. Lawyers are certainly not exempt from this. However, in the age of Twitter, Facebook, and smartphones, unhappy customers are able to share their bad experiences to hundreds, thousands, even millions of people in real-time. So how do law firms, solo lawyers, and other businesses combat this influx in technology and potentially harmful online information? There’s no trick, loyalty program, or hack that will work. Lawyers, and all other people providing service, will just need to create a good experience for their clients and customers across the board.
In this episode of The Un-Billable Hour, Christopher Anderson interviews customer service consultant Peter Shankman about how clients are changing the way they respond to bad service, the part technology plays, how businesses should respond to this change, and his view for the future of online reviews. Shankman begins by explaining the change in the way businesses have sold their products and services for the last 60 years. With the advent of the internet, people are more skeptical of advertising, and are able to connect with each other and interact in real-time. If one unhappy client shares his/her experience on social media, hundreds of people will see it. Shankman discusses transparency and genuine apologetic responses as the effective ways for lawyers to respond to these bad client experiences. However, in order to make clients fanatics, lawyers need to simply communicate with them and treat them with respect, and the client will brag about the good service to others. In the next four years, Shankman expects even online review sites like Yelp and Tripadvisor to become less relevant to business reputations than social media sites like Facebook, Google+, or Twitter. The most important point, Shankman emphasizes, is to consistently treat your clients decently and with respect. When your customer has an amazing experience, they will want to share.
Peter Shankman is an author, consultant, entrepreneur, and the owner of several multi-million dollar companies. He speaks to companies all around the world about how to provide amazing customer service and how to take advantage of the social conversation economy that he believes will be driving the global commerce engine over the next 100 years. Shankman has worked with hundreds of well-known companies and brands, as well as many other companies around the world. His newest book is Zombie Loyalists: Using Great Service to Create Rabid Fans.