Trustee Blog

Customer Service is Intentional

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How does the hotel receptionist know my name before I walk up to the counter?

This is the fourteenth edition of my newsletter “Build your Bankruptcy Business” and time to talk about Customer Service and the Busy Lawyer again.

We drive up to the Disneyland Hotel and the valet opens the car door. He greets us and asks us our name so he can write it down on the luggage tickets. He then walks us to another bellman and introduces us to him. The valet parks our car. The bellman walks us inside the Hotel and then introduces us by name to the employee or cast member who will direct us to the next available hotel receptionist. The line lady then introduces us to the receptionist.

The receptionist did not know us two minutes ago, but now she knows our name without having to ask and has begun checking us into the hotel. This all took less than two minutes from car door to reception desk. We interacted

with at least four Disney cast members who seamlessly made us feel at home and welcomed.

These well planned and well choreographed series of interactions were not left to chance and had been practiced before the valet, the bellman, the line lady and the receptionist ever met a guest. The customer service given was intentional from the outset but made to look spontaneous. Nonetheless the system and the positive feelings it created in us were just as impressive.

As I have watched customer service interactions over the years, the best practices are more than smiles and well wishes. The best practices are intricate systems put into place that make the client feel special.

How do we take what we see in the outside world and translate that to our bankruptcy practice? What small system can make our clients feel special?

Intake Notes:

When interviewing the client, be attentive to information that may not be bankruptcy related, but is important to the client. It may be where her son goes to school, or it may be a local sports team named on his hat, or it may be a relative that is sick and they are worried about, or it could be that they love apple pie. This information should be noted on the intake sheet or computer notes. As we get older, our memories slip so it is a good idea to write the information down for future reference.

Then the information is reviewed before the client comes into the office for the signing of the final documents.

Yes, it is intentional and yes, it has nothing to do with the bankruptcy process. However our clients are only human and they will remember if we take the time to remember something about them. We humanize the process by being intentional and try to make each client feel special.

We can easily make our clients feel like a number in the bankruptcy process because we see so many people every month. The opportunity is to make the clients feel special. They do not have to know that you wrote down they love apple pie. They will only remember the apple pie waiting for them at the signing and how much you cared about them by going the extra mile.

Practice Pointer:

Without having a system in place to intentionally collect the information we need to delight our clients, we will miss easy opportunities to make our clients feel special.

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