find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Property lawyer - Melbourne
Category: Property Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Impressive client list, national firm · Well-led and high-performing team
View details
Senior family lawyer - Melbourne
Category: Family Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Outstanding national firm · High-calibre family law team
View details
First impressions matter

First impressions matter

Jaci Burns Market Expertise

Two firms, two very different responses to an enquiry. Jaci Burns looks at why some firms are losing clients before they land them.

Last week I had cause to contact a Sydney-headquartered boutique law firm – a firm which, though only a mid-tier player in the Australian market, punches above its weight as a brand.

I made four approaches to three professionals over the course of six days. Not one of my communications was acknowledged. Finally, in frustration, I contacted the firm’s managing partner, alerting him to the neglect and challenging whether anyone at his firm actually responded to emails.

Ultimately, the question I was posing to the managing partner was, ‘How many times will your clients try unsuccessfully to contact your firm before they take their business elsewhere?’

The managing partner did not respond either, though within a few hours I received a call from a salaried employee at his firm.

At around the same time, I made a similar approach to the Sydney and London offices of global accounting firm Crowe Horwath. Despite the difference in time zones, within a handful of hours I had received responses from senior practitioners within the firm. Over the course of the next 36 hours the firm followed up several more times. What’s more, the managing partner responded with both appreciation and enthusiasm to my (unsolicited) constructive feedback about his firm's approach to digital marketing.

I’m sharing this anecdote as a reminder to you – whatever your title, whatever your role, whatever your remit – that feedback is real and it’s relentless:

  •  You can’t conveniently quarantine it to the once or twice per year that your firm has scheduled to ‘listen’
  •  You can’t exclude opinion that falls outside your firm’s ‘blessed’ methodology.
  •  You can’t limit your audience to current clients – or, more likely, current ‘top’ clients.

Every person who has contact with your firm is a potential advocate, a potential ambassador. Or not.

Every person who has contact with your firm will form an opinion, be it positive, negative or neutral.

Every person who has contact with your firm is networked and connected in ways you could not even imagine.

Every person who has contact with your firm will have at least one platform (this being a prime example) from which they can share their experience. It bears remembering there is no form of marketing more powerful than word-of-mouth.

How comprehensive is your firm’s process for measuring client service and monitoring and responding to feedback?

Jaci Burns (pictured) is the managing director of Market Expertise, which provides marketing, business development and communications services to law firms.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

First impressions matter
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Aug 23 2017
NT Law Society sounds alarm on mandatory sentencing
The Law Society Northern Territory has issued a warning over mandatory sentencing, saying it hasn’...
Aug 22 2017
Professionals unite in support of marriage equality
The presidents of representative bodies for solicitors, barristers and doctors in NSW have come toge...
Aug 21 2017
Is your firm on the right track for gig economy gains?
Promoted by Crowd & Co. The way we do business, where we work, how we engage with workers, ev...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...