A Reminder to Myself and to Other Service Providers

Whenever I need to hire a service provider to assist me with something that is vitally important but that involves a field that is unfamiliar to me, it reminds me again of what I want to be for my clients. Whether it’s needing a repair for strange noise that my car is making, having my corporation’s taxes done, hiring an attorney who practices in a completely different field of law than I do, needing to see a medical specialist or needing technical help with my computer, it can be a nerve-wracking process.

When I’m trusting someone else to help me with a process or system that has far reaching consequences if not done properly, I get scared. I wonder if I’ve hired the right person. I get nervous if I don’t hear back from them after a couple of days, an email, a phone call. My mind starts to play out different scenarios and travel down dark and winding paths while I wait for the mechanic, accountant, lawyer, doctor, computer genius to get back to me.

I have handed a big chunk of my life over to these people, and probably a large chunk of money and not a small amount of my faith and trust. I hired them because I don’t know the terrain and I need them to guide me.  If they leave me standing on the path alone, without letting me know they’ve just gone to restock our supplies, I start to worry. I can’t read their minds, or see into their office to know that they have read my email or received my voice-mail and are working on the issue diligently. I only know that if they write back “received your message, I’m working on this now and will get back to you.” Or if I get a phone call that says “We are still running the engine diagnostics, we’ll call as soon as we know something” or “the test results will be in by tomorrow” or “Your motherboard is fine, we are just checking on  the flibbertigibbit.”

The point of this post? To point out that it’s good for me to be reminded that clients are putting their trust and their faith in me, that they are paying me money not only to provide them with legal services but also to guide them down the strange and winding paths and get them safely to the other side. To take the giant stacks of papers from their dining room tables and make sense of them all.  To tell them “it will be ok. Here is what we need to do.” To return their phone calls, and respond to their emails. To explain things in words they understand.

The point is also to remind other attorneys (and accountants and mechanics and computer geniuses and doctors and real estate brokers and architects and financial advisers) who read this of the same thing.

3 Responses to A Reminder to Myself and to Other Service Providers

  1. You’ve made an excellent point, Leanna. It reminds me of an article Lee Rosen wrote not too long ago about how a two minute call can change your client’s opinion of you. A quick call or email to update clients on the status of their case doesn’t take very long for an attorney or office staff, but makes a huge difference for the client.

  2. Leanna,

    This is a great reminder.

    We (think) we do a reasonable job of explaining our process to our new clients. After reading your post, I am reminded that we need to do a better job of explaining our timeframes for delivery and how we need to be more proactive if things aren’t going as planned.

    Thank you.

    Tom Scanlon, CPA