Do Your Clients Know What You Do?

Recently Solo in Chicago questioned whether he should list his practice areas on his business cards. After reading his post, I remembered an encounter that I had with a client of mine. I had previously represented her in a matter. The matter was an area of law that comprises approximately 10% of my practice.

About a year after we had resolved the previous matter, she called me again. She started her conversation, “I know this isn’t the type of law that you do, but . . . .” She then proceeded to ask me a question that fell squarely into the type of law the comprises the majority of my practice.

She had taken the single matter I had represented her on, and had extrapolated it to my entire practice. In fact, however, that was a small portion of my practice. I am just glad that she called me on the next question she had, even though she did not think I practiced in that area.

Recently, I was again reminded of this story and Peter’s post when I read about a customer experience survey on the Good Experience Blog. The post explains:

A friend of mine runs a company whose site sells a wide range of products, all sharing a particular attribute. For the sake of example, let’s say his site sells organic fruit only – bananas, pears, oranges, apples, and so on – all healthy and extra-tasty.

The company then ran a customer experience survey to gauge the usability of their site. The post then explained what the company learned:

But what he really learned surprised him. It was something much more basic, and much bigger, than any tactical improvement.

Here’s what he told me when I saw him after the labs:

“The customers didn’t even realize that we only sell organic! That’s the whole point of our site, and they missed it! It totally transformed how we’re thinking about our redesign.”

I don’t have an answer to this question, but I wonder how often our clients see our practices through the narrow lens of their matter and never realize the other services that we provide. Further, what can we do to change that?

One thought on “Do Your Clients Know What You Do?

  1. The answer to your question is “nearly always” and the answer to your second question is “you need to tell them what you do” not only when you are representing them in a matter, but more importantly when you are not, so that you are on their minds when the next issue comes up. I am surprised that you asked either of these questions.

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