What do clients want, really?

By Nina Kaufman, Esq.

I came across an old post by Roger Glovsky, the Virtual Lawyer, that asked the age-old question, “What do clients want?” (And no, almost surprisingly, “perfection” is not the answer)

Seems, attorneys would do well to put the shoe on the other foot.  We’re so used to brandishing our exceptional intellectual prowess as a way of confirming our value and worth, that we lose sight of what the clients need: a realistic solution to the problem they’re facing.  If my toilet is backed up, I don’t need a plumber coming into my home and giving me a 4-hour dissertation on the history of plumbing and the intricacy of the city sanitation codes with a promise that he’ll be back in 3 weeks with the solution. I want my toilet to flush–now–and a reassurance that it will continue to flush for the foreseeable future.

As Glovsky notes, it’s not about providing what the clients need; it’s about providing what the clients want.  I may think they need a 174-page partnership agreement that provides them with extra super-duper ironclad protection, but if they don’t understand the agreement and it blows the deal, who have I helped, really?

Here’s my Top Three list of what I’ve found clients want:

  • Timely, accurate, detailed billing
  • Reasonable estimates for what’s involved (don’t promise me my situation will get resolved within a week, when realistically, it takes 10)
  • Responsiveness/timely updates

Anything else you would add?

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