If you’re like me, you use social media to pick a great restaurant. My social media tool of choice is TripAdvisor. I find the crowd rarely steers you in the wrong direction. If a restaurant has a significant number of reviews, and is in the top 10% of restaurants in the area, it’s a winner.
In addition to the ranking data, the customer reviews are a wealth of valuable, reliable feedback. The stories written by regular people out for an evening tell you right away whether the place is for you.
What are the key ingredients for a great restaurant? In my experience, it always comes down to three key questions. First, do they have amazing food? Second, how’s the value? Finally, and all importantly, how’s the service? Do they treat you like a valued guest or a demanding nuisance? The stories you read will answer these questions and the top spots invariably score highly in all these key areas. I think all service providers should be graded on the same three keys. I say – choose your lawyer like you choose a restaurant!
When choosing your lawyer, as far as great product, how’s the firm’s menu? Does the firm you’re considering have an array of best-of-breed lawyers with the specialty areas of practice your business needs. If your business needs employment solutions, does the firm have a senior lawyer available with rich experience in employment law issues? Does the lawyer’s background include BigLaw experience at a well-known firm and experience as in-house counsel? You want a lawyer who combines great education with real world application – someone who knows firsthand how a business really works. What about your corporate/commercial issues? Litigation? IP issues? If you’re going to get a great lawyer, the way you get a great meal, the menu should have an array of options to satisfy your hunger at any given time, and every option should be delicious.
Next, there’s value to consider. Good food at astronomical prices just isn’t as satisfying as when the prices are reasonable. Similarly, legal solutions should be presented with reasonable prices that work within your business realities. And again, there should be options. Is the hourly rate a fraction of the BigLaw rate for the same quality lawyer? Is there a daily rate, with the option that the lawyer work within your business if that’s best for you? Is the daily rate set at a further discount so you’re rewarded for buying a bigger meal? Are there other options like fixed fee? All these options are essential for you to know that you’re getting a great lawyer at good value.
Finally, how’s the service? Just like TripAdvisor tells you through customer feedback if a restaurant is better than other options, Net Promoter Score can tell you how a law firm stacks up. Explained simply, Net Promoter Score asks customers one question: “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend your law firm to a friend or colleague?” 9s and 10s are Promoters. 6 and below are Detractors. The percentage of Promoters minus the percentage of Detractors is your “Net” Promoter Score. Two key questions when assessing a law firm are: (1) Do they use Net Promoter Score and share the results? (2) How do they measure up? The Inavero 2017 study of law firms in North American sets the Net Promoter Score average at +17%. The best organizations in the world are in the +70% range (think Apple, Amazon, Netflix). If you want great service, alongside a great lawyer with good value, find a law firm whose customers rank them as best-in-the-world. Why can’t a law firm please its customers as much as Apple?
Steve Monk is Chief Navigator at Caravel Law, a disruptive law firm that prides itself on having best-of-breed lawyers providing a full range of legal solutions for businesses at prices 30% to 70% lower than BigLaw. Our Net Promoter Score of +69.4% over 2 years ranks us well above the +17% average for law firms. If you read this article, please email me!
Contributed by Stephen P. Monk
Chief Navigator, Caravel Law
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