How many times have you said or heard it said that a barrister yelled, got angry, ‘purged‘ their emotions on the solicitor? How often have you emailed and/or called a barrister without response to what you ‘need‘ to know or discuss, for days or even weeks……as they are unavailable and/or uncommunicative? Do you work with barristers that do most things ‘on the run‘, without proper preparation and strategy? Do your barristers only review the brief for hearing at the last minute and then provide a list of things to be done, with no time to do what is required in the case (this is on the proviso that the barrister was briefed early in the matter)? How do your barristers treat your clients – are they polite or are they condescending? Do they speak to the client in an easily understood manner and back you up? Do you feel like you and your barrister are a ‘team‘, working to support each other to achieve the best outcome for the client, your barrister has got ‘your back‘?
What Does Adding Value Mean?
Value is far more than price. It’s the benefit the customer | client receives from what we offer.
In today’s competitive legal ‘marketplace‘ there are many lawyers | law firms |barristers offering the same services with similar baseline values. So how do you differentiate one barrister from another (or one law firm from another) to show your client the barrister is valuable because they ‘add value‘? Or you don’t consider who to brief, as you brief the same barrister/s regardless – at what cost to you and your clients?
Tips To Assess “Added Value”:
Here are 15 tips to consider before briefing a barrister (or brief again) to determine if they ‘add value‘ to you and your clients:
- Are they bringing extra benefit ‘to the table‘, above and beyond the baseline of ‘barrister services‘ such as trust, you know they have your ‘back‘?
- Does your barrister provide a higher, more sophisticated level of service to you and your clients i.e. does more work than what is onward charged and knows the brief well?
- Is your barrister /solicitor ‘relationship‘ a healthy business relationship based on honest, candid communication?
- Are your barristers easy to work with and do business with – do they provide practical, professional services in a no drama environment?
- Does your barrister provide personalised quality service promptly (within 24-48 hours), including having attention to detail, and shows a sense of urgency to address your concerns as they arise?
- Does the barrister reduce or increase your stress?
- Are your barristers easily accessible and available to answer your questions or concerns?
- Is your barrister reliable, trustworthy, consistent and practical i.e. someone you can trust and rely upon?
- Does your barrister provide a positive memorable client service experience, for you and the ultimate ‘client‘, and give you all due attention? i.e. including unexpected intangible value that can’t be packaged or sold?
- Is your barrister transparent on their fees and costings?
- Does your barrister provide you with time frames to complete requested work and in the process encourage candid negotiation about the proposed timeframes?
- Are you provided with an opportunity to provide honest and open feedback to the barrister, by way of a provided Client Satisfaction Survey at the end of a matter (or other times) so that the barrister can keep their finger on the pulse of what YOU need?
- Does your barrister help you overcome obstacles or assist you do your job better i.e. saves you time and/or provides knowledge and advice in the matter, so that you are more profitable and efficient?
- Does your barrister provide you with ‘best practices‘ i.e. a valuable resource to get the best results?
- Do you base value on low cost and/or court performance alone or are other factors equally as important to you. If you do, you need to reconsider points 10-14 :-) ?
Clients will generally be prepared to consider paying more if they perceive they are getting more value for their dollar, be this in a functional, emotional or in a service form, which adds value to them and their needs to achieve the best outcome for them. They want Rolls Royce service and when they get it, they are willing to pay if costings are transparent at the outset and updated! Adding value is not based on one aspect alone but a holistic approach. Your clients will be more agreeable to having and paying for a ‘value added‘ barrister, having them on board, to assist you in their matter, by adding real value. Don’t underestimate the true reward of having a valuable barrister in your team assisting you with your matters!
If you would like to discuss how I can add value to you and your clients , feel free to contact me on (02) 9336 5399 or firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set up a time to discuss your questions further.
Please review my Client Satisfaction Survey or Service Charter Guarantee (on LinkedIn), which specifies my commitment and guarantee to provide quality, reliable services as a part of adding value to solicitors and clients.
I write a blog for professionals on family law, medical negligence, victims of institutional abuse, mediation and family law arbitration. Why not sign up at http://www.sydneybarrister.net.au so you never miss a post!