One of the benefits of having come from outside the legal profession is an understanding of the importance of excellence in customer service in the legal world.

Note I said customer not client.

Having occasionally sat on the other side as a client, sometimes I wondered who the client actually was! Some lawyers thought they were doing you a favour by having you as their client!

It’s not a privilege to use a lawyer – as a lawyer it’s a privilege to act for a client.

Imagine walking into a nice hotel, café or restaurant and being ignored or having the staff behaving as if they were the guest! You could have the best chef in the world working at your hotel, but if the waiter and restaurant manager are hopeless, the food quality becomes irrelevant.

Customers have real choice these days including in a highly competitive field such as the legal profession. Excellence in service to our customers is not a catchcry, it is a necessity.

With apologies to Mark Mc Cormack (‘What they don’t teach you at Harvard Business School’), the importance of customer service is something they don’t teach you at Law School. In fact it is difficult to recall the mere mention of a client (or customer) in any text book or lecture!

It’s easy for lawyers to only act like ‘technicians’ and see the legal issue, but not the person behind it. Therefore doing the best job for your client is also about being empathetic, caring and understanding the person. This is so important in all areas of legal practice.

Therefore the real benefit of small boutique firms like Lindbloms Lawyers is that we have the ability to provide a high level of personal service including treating the customer with empathy and understanding – that’s right a customer, not just a client