Some things in life are guaranteed to be satisfying, like having some down-time after a hard week, taking off high heels at the end of the day, getting into a freshly made bed and receiving good service.
‘Client satisfaction’ is a term frequently used as a measure of how products and services supplied by a business meet or surpass client expectation. Client satisfaction can be defined as “the number of customers, or percentage of total customers, whose reported experience with a firm, its products, or its services exceeds specified satisfaction goals.”
At Mayo Wynne Baxter we have always been very proud of our service levels and we used to send out client satisfaction surveys to find out what our clients thought of us. 98.8% of all respondents to the surveys stated that they were either ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ so we certainly felt like we were getting it right. The pessimist in me points out that this leaves 1.2% of our clients who might not be satisfied; however with further investigation the dissatisfaction has sometimes been more about the outcome of the matter rather than the way with which we handled it.
Having statistics like these can provide some reassurance to potential clients who are unsure which firm to use but we have been looking at ways to cement this into a form of guarantee.
Last year of a firm in New Zealand used a ‘pay what you think we are worth’ model. Whereby they would tell the client how much they would normally bill for a piece of work but the client could chose how much they paid. Interestingly many clients paid them more than they would have billed as they were very satisfied with the work done, which is a bit like leaving a tip for good service. Obviously there would have been a few people that ‘took the mickey’ and paid substantially less than they should have just because they could but on the whole most clients were pretty decent about it.
We thought that we could use some elements of this and provide a guarantee of our own by putting our money where our mouth is. So from September 2017 we are launching our own Satisfaction Guarantee.
Any clients that use our services should expect to be satisfied with the work we do and the advice we give.
We would hope that clients would let us know if they felt we were not meeting their expectations and then we can address it.
When our bill comes in we want our clients to be happy with the service they have received. If they are not, then under our Satisfaction Guarantee they can decide how much to pay and deduct an amount from our bill that they feel is appropriate (up to a maximum of 20% of our fee and within the invoice period, usually within 28 days) and we won’t quibble. Honestly, we won’t quibble, not even a little bit. We will ask what we did wrong though, as it is only by knowing how we let you down that we can make sure we don’t do it again.
Of course we wouldn’t be a law firm without a few caveats but there aren’t many:
- The discretionary element is up to a maximum of 20% and within the invoice period, usually within 28 days. If we have got things so bad that this isn’t enough then we would welcome a call to discuss fully.
- The discretionary element is only on our fees and not disbursements.
- We can’t offer the Satisfaction Guarantee on certain litigious work types such as Litigation, Personal Injury and Medical Negligence. This is only because of the way that the courts award costs for these types of cases.
We obviously wouldn’t be offering this if we didn’t feel that we were already doing a great job for our clients (well at least 98.8%of them) and in fact we are the only law firm that we know of in the UK to put our money where our mouth is and offer a Satisfaction Guarantee like this.
Find out more here