If you want more referrals from existing clients then you need to practice in law firm client delight

I find that sometimes the best ideas for your practice, come from a totally different business.

If you ask a regular supermarket shopper, if buying the groceries is a delightful experience, what answer do you think they will give?

I think you will find that most people tell you that it is something they have to do rather than something they want to do.

You know, I suspect many people say that about visiting a law firm as well.

I have been in the USA on holidays and for someone like me, who gets excited about business, one of the highlights of the trip was visiting a supermarket…

But not just any supermarket, a very special supermarket.

One that was (and may still be), in the Guinness Book of World Records for the highest sales of a single store in the world!!

This is a supermarket is in a town in Connecticut , USA with just 85,000 people, but admittedly only 60 miles from New York City. (Would you drive 60 miles to buy your groceries each week?)

This supermarket is called Stew Leonard’s and it is situated in Norwalk, Connecticut though they now have three other stores, in nearby towns.

Let me tell you a bit more about this very special supermarket and some of its business management strategies:

1) They are in Forbes magazine’s list of the “Top 100 Places to Work in the USA”

2) They are featured in Ripley’s Believe It or Not

3) They only stock 2000 lines, which means that every one of their customers has to go to another supermarket each week to buy the stuff that they don’t sell

4) There are numerous other supermarkets in Norwalk including Walmart, the biggest supermarket chain in the world, so they are competing with the big boys

5) They run seminars for companies like McDonalds , Citibank, Exxon, AT & T teaching them about how they provide customer service

6) They have been around since 1969, so they are not an overnight success.

7) They make shopping a fun experience, there are cartoon characters that play songs every 15 minutes, people dressed up in cow costumes roaming through the store, everyone is friendly, there is a cow where you press a button and it moo’s. The kids love it.

8) For the adults, they concentrate on the mantra of fresh, organic, locally sourced and make in house where possible. The milk is bottled at the store, they make their own ice cream, yoghurt, butter, soups, pesto, pasta, chips, freshly squeezed orange juice, donuts, rice cakes, bread and bakery, fruit salad, sushi, I’m sure I’ve forgotten things

9) There are numerous staff offering free tastings of new products

10) You know where their fish, meat and fruit and veg all come from.

11) There are rest rooms that are easy to find and a dedicated person who cleans them, so they are always sparkling. Tell that to a mother with young children.

12) They have a 3 tonne rock at the front door that has the mantra:

– Rule 1 “ The customer is always right”

– Rule 2 “ If the customer is ever wrong- reread rule 1”

See the photo on this page.( That’s me beside the rock!!)

13) They live and breathe that rule

14) There is a photo of the owners thanking you for coming

15) You can buy an ice cream, yoghurt or milk shake as you leave, which have all been made in store

16) The shop is set out more like a farmers market than a supermarket.

17) The produce looks fabulous and is fantastically displayed

18) They put a new spin on home brand, because they make most of it, so there is Stew Leonard’s everything, not a zillion other brands.

19) I asked the taxi driver taking me back to the train station, if he shops there. His response “ Of course, if the kids hear me say we have to go to the supermarket, they always want to go to Stew Leonard’s”

Is it just me, or do you find this amazing?

So enough about supermarkets, it is the New Year, if ever you are going to be fresh and ready to take on new ideas, it will be now. So how can you make the client experience of dealing with your practice a delightful experience?

How about a few ideas to start:

1) Do your clients know they can come in and use the rest rooms at any time? Are they sparkling clean?

2) Do you invite your best clients to focus groups?

3) Do you have wi fi available for client use?

4) Could a client drop in on a hot day and simply sit in reception and your receptionist get them a glass of water or an espresso?

5) Are your team empowered to encourage a client to do any of these things I have just mentioned?

What does any of that cost? Not much, but do you think that would change your clients perception of your practice?

Of course you have to be good at what you do and do it well, but if you want to stand out and get talked about, it really isn’t that hard.

ACTION STEP

That photograph on this web page is me at the front door of Stew Leonard’s in Connecticut. Are you this focused on delighting your clients?

Delighting your clients, above and beyond what a good law firm would do, is a key principle in our existing client referral program small law firms .

You can find out more at this link to the Client Referral System for Smaller Legal Practices