Expectations = Relationship Foundation

Over the holiday break, my family visited a lodging establishment for a mini-getaway. Although the accommodations were acceptable, they did not meet our expectations. Being an analytical but optimistic bunch, we soldiered on, finding the silver lining in our experience while identifying how our expectations were so misaligned with the reality of this property. In the end, we enjoyed our family time together and I discovered there were a few business reflections in this near disaster as well!

First, as a business owner, I am constantly trying to find new ways to communicate the services and value of partnering with ALIASS. My marketing team and I are diligent to clearly identify everything ALIASS offers, not only because it is a unique portfolio of legal support services (a descriptive term we developed specifically for ALIASS), but also because we believe it is important to accurately describe what we do and how we do it. A large part of the ALIASS culture is sustaining the gold standard in customer service. We choose to partner with our clients and foster long-term collaboration, which is why we belabor just the right marketing language. We understand those first interactions become the foundation for our relationship. In other words, we prefer to set the correct expectations from the first point of contact.

Second, several prospective clients have inquired as to why we do not post pricing for our services on our website. Expectations have a lot to do with this as well. Because we offer so many different types of legal support services and many of these services have varying components that affect final pricing, our ALIASS team prefers to gather all of the pertinent details before quoting your needs. There are companies who post the pricing for the least expensive, least complicated process service as a ‘hook’ for prospective clients. However, once all the details for their required service have been provided, the client discovers (sometimes too late!) that this price is not accurate for the process service they need. Talk about misleading expectations!

However, we realize many of our clients would like additional online support for their needs outside of business hours. In an effort to provide additional online support for our clients, ALIASS recently launched a new, improved website which offers the ability to submit a service request around the clock. Clients can submit all the pertinent details through a convenient, online form, and then our team will review and provide a quote within one business day (once again, working hard to set expectations … even if our goal is to try to exceed them). This is just one way ALIASS tries to make it easier to do business with us while keeping your expectations in mind.

While writing this blog post, I am wondering how many service providers (legal support services or otherwise) set accurate expectations. Do you have one who could benefit from re-evaluating their communications to set realistic expectations? Perhaps a good time of year to consider a business resolution for 2013!

The ALIASS team would like to wish you and yours the happiest of holiday seasons and a most profitable new year in 2013!

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