Leadership and Strategy

Never promise more than you can deliver

October 8, 2015



I promised last week that I would begin a discussion about Our Golden Habits. These are the habits that we would like to become a part of a promise to all gunnercooke clients. If we all  perform them, just imagine the results.

The key to their success is consistency right across the practice. I can hardly think that anyone could argue with any of them as good habits for each of us to deliver to clients. But only when every one of us makes them a daily ritual will they impact our brand and our service promise. The result of that consistency will compound to produce a law firm that believes in, and delivers, brilliant client service – putting it before all else. The numbers will follow. That is the output. This week, one of my clients sent an email to Laura Jordan saying how delighted they had been with the service of each lawyer they had worked with and could she introduce them to another part of the firm… that is consistency of service.

Consider the other side of this: if one lawyer chooses not to follow our golden habits,  the fall out will damage all of us. I recall Gordon Ramsay saying on his Kitchen Nightmares programme that, on average, if we have a good experience in a restaurant we may tell three or four people but if we have a bad experience we are likely to tell seven or eight people.

We have over 100 lawyers in the business who will all benefit from each one of us following these habits and over 100 lawyers who will suffer if one person chooses not to. I represent those 100 lawyers and it is my job – and a few others – to ensure that an individual partner or lawyer does not let us all down. It is never personal – it is about the 100. You will expect me to protect your interests and of course I will and I must; but I hope we all see the benefit of great service and golden habits and I rarely have to do so. Please let me reassure you we will not shirk the responsibility should it arise. I couldn’t face letting you down.

What are we looking to achieve?

Delighted clients.

Clients who become ‘raving fans ‘.

Clients who, because they are raving fans, decide to tell someone else about the great service they received from gunnercooke.

Delighted clients occur when you provide more than you promised or they expected. It is that simple.

The more you deliver, the better your service, the greater your WOW factor and the more your business will grow.

We will discuss in future weeks WOW service but today let’s focus on the very simple.

Our First Habit – Never promise more than you can deliver 

Bring it back to your own experiences…

What words do you use when a retailer doesn’t deliver in the morning that you have stayed home but turns up in the afternoon when you have gone out?

How composed are you on the phone (or inside) when a plumber or electrician tells you they will start work on Monday but the friday before tell you they are stuck on another job and it will be at least 3 more days?

How frustrated do you feel when you leave a message for a tradesman to call you and they don’t return your call?

How do you feel when your favourite restaurant runs out of your favourite dessert, just as you order (a particular current one of mine)?

What do you feel like when the car mechanic who has promised you the car will be ready for Friday rings you on Friday afternoon to tell you it won’t be ready until next week  because they need to get new parts?

And you can come up with many many more…

But how good do you feel about those same workmen when they arrive on time and, even better, when they deliver early on their promise and deliver to the letter. How do you feel when they out perform, they communicate ahead of time so you are not left wondering what is happening or, worse,  you have to call them and when they communicate they are positive and if there is an issue they have a solution ready and a solution that is better than was originally promised.

Do I need to continue?


PS our Hall of Fame was easy to do having spent the weekend with our great inspire* bike riders on on the coast to coast  – an amazing group of people –  suggested by Sarah Goulbourne

Sign up to theReading Room

We’ll send you infrequent emails that keep you up to date with gunnercooke and industry news.

Recent awards