Whenever you’ve got a chance to ascertain what your customers need and desire from youpersonally, think about it a priceless chance to learn. Their needs and needs –and their experience with your company –would be the key to identifying the attention of your advertising efforts. Finding and delivering exactly what your customers need and desire won’t only lead to satisfied customers but, if you employ this understanding to your clinic, their experience of your company may also become your own branding.
In a corporate law firm in Century City a couple of years ago, a senior partner shook hands with one of his customers after finishing the company’s very first public offering. The two guys reminisced about their long relation-ship. “We’ve been through a lot together–both good and bad–from climbing out of our financial mess, to the opening of our first four stores, to building out nearly four hundred of them, to finally going public,” the president of the company said, grinning.
When a client speaks to you from the heart, the penetration you get will be priceless. The marketing materials for that Century City law firm had previously emphasized their track record, their flexibility and their willingness to be tough. Had they failed to incorporate this client’s insight, they’d have missed a valuable marketing opportunity. Luck-ily, the senior partner was a savvy marketer. He instantly knew the value of a long-term client’s praise. It became an significant part the firm’s identity and, after a time, made its way to the firm’s branding and marketing material:”Wherever you go, that’s where we’ll be…”
Past the decent provider, the audio legal advice and the expectation of professionalism, what mattered to this customer on a psychological level was that this company had been by his company’s side during the good times and the bad.
Maybe not all of your customers will hand you a resonant advertising term. But a seasoned marketing professional with the appropriate skills can make you more aware of them when this does occur, and more impor-tantly, will be able to enable you to use them to shape the way that your company brands its own services. But the secret in this instance isn’t the catchy phrase or even the kind expression of gratitude. Why is the Century City firm’s marketing insight so significant is the fact that it reflects a basic truth about the company: It will stick by its clients even when times get rough. That’s the way the company does business.
From the late 1990s, among the Oakland Insurance Lawyer in the nation decided it needed to tap into the tech boom. The marketing team advised the firm to target small start-up companies and offer them a lesser hourly fee for general business matters from the hope that, if the business succeeded, the firm would be handed all their legal work, including taking them public. The marketers believed that doing this could demonstrate the company’s commitment and loyalty to their smaller, more vulnerable customers. One such customer had this unfortunate experience dealing with the company:
I really believed them. Everything was going well until the technology bubble burst–and with it, our close relationship with the firm. No more friendly partner calls to see how we were doing. After a while, I was lucky to get my calls returned. They knew we were strapped for cash and, when we were unable to pay their bills, they sued us. They didn’t just sue the corporation (the one they helped us set up), they sued me personally, since I was the president of the company. It was a disas-ter. When the chips were down, this firm came at us with knives. I will never forget this experience–nor will my associates and friends.”
It doesn’t take a marketing genius to know that it’s bad business to sue your clients, but the contrast between the Century City company and this one is well worth noting. 1 firm made a loyal buddy out of a customer while the other created an enemy. The purpose is that the way the firm does business, whether it’s how they handle their receivables or which new practice team they decide to open, says something significant about the company in connection with its clients.