I recently upgraded my Blackberry to the 8700c series. With it came the customary manual for getting started and setting up the online access. A veteran Blackberry user, I must admit I had little doubt this would take more than a few minutes to accomplish. Four hours later, no Sunday service for Cingular customers (I switched from T-mobile and may be sorry) and stumped about how to get this service working, I can't help but think this is how law firm clients must feel. The manual does not match the web pages; the options are not what are listed in the user guide and after long hours of frustration, I can only say that I think they forgot to initiate my service at Cingular. What's the biggest issue? There is nothing that I am reading or hearing that is user-friendly. It's all geek speak. I must admit, hiring lawyers often leaves clients with the same feeling. You understand what you are saying, but your clients are left with reams of printed pages that they hope reflect the contractual terms of the arrangements they've negotiated. They will find out if things don't turn out as they'd hoped, whether or not their law firms captured their goals in writing, if at some point in time they will need to enforce the agreements the documents reflect. So is this not an opportunity? Perhaps an executive summary for the documents that summarizes the key points and reads in non-legal "geek?"
As we become even more buyer savvy and welcome the vast amount of choices we have, if it doesn't feel like outstanding service, it's easy to switch to another provider--unlike my lawyers, my Blackberry did come with a 30-day return option!