An Expert's Approach to Customer Service

Lately, we’ve been venting about bad customer service experiences around the Trifecta watercooler.  As folks shared their stories, we started to notice a pattern.  Experts—whether they’re accountants or master builders—can be awful at delivering good customer service.  

Here are the signs of an expert that struggles with customer service.

1.       Weak answers to questions.  Expertise should inspire confidence and clarity. Replies to basic or common sense questions that start with “No, you can’t do that . . . “ or “It depends . . .” or “You’d have to ask [ . . . ] ” inspire frustration instead. 

2.       Inquiry instead of guidance.  We don’t want to be worn out with questions about things you can already answer based on experience. This not only eroded our confidence in the ability of our contractor to make proactive recommendations, it also took the mental space for questions that we probably should have been answering.

3.       Too many details.  In a world of CYA, it’s easy to throw in a few more details, just in case. Experts overwhelm us with detail about less essential information, crowding out more significant points.

Trifecta’s Take

1.       Relate context with answers. We work in a fast-changing area of the law; meaning there is little to no legal precedent for what many of our clients do.  That said, we’ve experienced a lot in the health tech industry, and we can apply relevant context to our responses. If we don’t have expertise in a specific area, we can still share our related expertise with honesty and transparency, and then focus on the best path forward, such as engaging other experts. 

2.       Share recommendations and rationale.  As the expert in the room, we own the responsibility of providing answers and making firm recommendations.  It’s our job to offer a prescription and to explain our reasons for favoring it.  If a customer decides to go another way, then we strive to find a way to provide the legal support for that too.

 3.       Emphasize the right details. Crafting legal documents and understanding the nuances of compliance are challenging, even for experts. We strive to illuminate the details that matter the most and guide a client through affirming the details that are less essential.

Are you frustrated with your legal customer service? We want to exceed your expectations. Let’s talk about your needs.

Tripp Stroud