Perhaps it is sad to think that customer or client service has gotten so bad of late that highlighting those that do it well should not be necessary, but it is. So many companies send us off to automated web and voice mail systems, force us to chat with folks half way around the globe that can't speak the language too well and are flummoxed when forced off script, or in some cases show they simply don't care. Where I live, Comcast's monopoly means that no matter what happens I'm still a customer. When disgruntled with some experiences on Priceline, I simply took my business elsewhere. And in most cases, law firm clients can choose to do the same.
So when the service you receive is particularly personalized, attentive and caring, you practically go into shock. In serving as an issue editor for the Marketing-themed April 2016 edition of Law Practice Today (LPT), I contributed a feature story on Client Retention--It's All in the Listening, which reminds us attorneys just how simple it can be to provide the type of client service that is both memorable and ensures repeat business. Taking some of my favorite personal recent examples--Kimpton's Monaco chain for hotel travel, my long-time dentist Dr. Robert Marchinek, and two of the top Philadelphia restaurants in Bibou and Helm, I show how some simple listening and responsiveness goes much further than any sophisticated business development game plan can. It is all in the listening. See where you might fall in comparison to knowing the "personal" side of your clients.
With nearly 18 features and columns, the marketing issue of LPT is full of great ideas. In gathering articles for the issue, I thought about what I wanted to hear about and from whom. So I hit up some of the leading experts in the business to teach me something.
Search Engine Optimization
Despite working on Internet marketing projects for law firms every day, I still find myself struggling to keep up with the constant changes in SEO. Nobody knows better (or more) than Tim Stanley and his team at Justia. Tim is one of the few people in which I tell my clients that work with him to simply do whatever he tells you--no questions asked. So Tim, with colleagues Ken Chan and David Kemp, authored Staying on Top of SEO Trends.
The article highlights the numerous SEO changes with Google, including redesign of ads and changes to the mobile user experience. The article gives you a rundown of SEO priorities in 2016.
A favorite hot topic these days is that of "content marketing." For years, we've preached the concept of "content is king" as it relates to marketing in the online world--that people, but more importantly, search engines--want to see more. What's different is the shift toward "content marketing" away from traditional advertising and brand strategies as attitudes and perspectives of the end-user change--they no longer want to see the ad, but will react to the message when delivered in a different context. So I went to my friend Jamie Diaferia at Infinite Spada, a fully integrated Communications and PR, Branding and Content consulting firm to provide some context and perspective to the topic.
In Send a Clear Signal Amid the Noise: Content Amplification Strategies That Work, Infinite Spada's Steven Andersen and Helen Bertelli write about what you need to know to adjust to the changing environment--more social media and visuals, among the trends to consider.
Branded Legal Networks
And speaking of great content marketing, one of the most valuable Law Practice resources online is the monthly Roundtable authored by Nicholas Gaffney of Zumado Public Relations. In this month's roundtable, Nick discusses How Branded Legal Networks Help Smaller Firms Land Big Work, with a panel of esteemed colleagues. Nobody knows more on the topic of branded legal networks than Gaffney and his team at Zumado.