Little Orphan Annie’s Commentary on Law Firm Client Service.
I came upon this “Annie” comic strip somewhere decades ago and have discussed it ever since in my Client-Service training classes for lawyers. If even Daddy Warbucks can’t get lawyers to return his calls promptly, it must be an industry-wide problem.
Or, more accurately, if even Leonard Starr, the creator of “Annie” felt that the problem was so omnipresent that the average reader of the comic strip would find “Daddy’s” situation amusing, our industry has a real problem.
In just three panels, Starr conveys the relative value of Skills versus Service.
Here, billionaire “Daddy” has chosen a responsive but “barely competent” lawyer over his “brilliant” lawyer who didn’t return phone calls promptly. The strip contains barely 50 words, but its powerful message should be reinforced in every law firm marketing and professional-development curriculum.
It’s this profession-wide service flaw that enabled us to develop effective client-service marketing initiatives like our Client Service Guarantees for both Ungaretti & Harris (1994) and Sandberg Phoenix (1998) and Two-Hour Response for Laner Muchin (2000), and many others since then.
As a marketing and branding strategy, client service works.
If you sincerely make the extra effort, if your firm strives to go the extra mile, clients recognize and appreciate it.
It’s not easy. But it’s effective.
[“Annie” cartoon Copyright (c) Leonard Starr]
“Want a good end-of-the-year/holiday present to give to your associates?
“I’ve got the ideal gift idea. Give them Ross Fishman’s ‘The Ultimate Law Firm Associate’s Marketing Checklist,’ a well-written, engaging and very practical guide—no, make that, bible—to show associates what they need to do to begin to build internal and external networks and eventually establish a book of business.
(Of Counsel magazine, December 2016, Editor Steve Taylor’s “Taylor’s Perspective”)