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Professional service firms need rabbits?

22 July 2011

Professional services marketing is a bit different to brand marketing. One important difference is “word of mouth” referrals. These come about when a client is so impressed with the service they have received, they go out and tell the world that your company is just fantastic and everyone should use you if they ever need your service.

These type of referrals are the most valuable source of new leads to any professional service firm. They are free and the conversion rates are very high because of the personal recommendation. So how are word of mouth referrals achieved ? The answer is by Superpleasing your clients according to David Maister in his famous book “How to run a professional service Firm”. What is interesting about this concept is that clients expect good or even excellent service from their service provider so why would they tell anybody if that’s exactly what they get.

The source of Superpleasing is service beyond the expected. It is best explained by a simple story:

A friend recently employed a company to build some decking in their back garden. When the decking was finished one of the carpenters carved a wooden rabbit with some left over wood. The kids like the new decking but they fell in love with the rabbit. The parents had a BBQ to show off their new decking but guess what they talked about most to their friends – the solid workmanship, the on-schedule, on-budget delivery ?┬áNo they told all their friends about the rabbit and what an outstanding company they had chosen.

So the source of valuable word of mouth leads is more than doing a good job. That is expected service. We need to Superplease. So if you run a professional service firm let me ask you – where is your rabbit?