Communication Tips & Quips

#2 Attorneys, the Unusual Key to Client Satisfaction

Industries are keenly focused on client satisfaction. Increasingly, customer communication blunders are going viral, like the highly publicized Comcast cancellation call. United Airlines Inc., has had its fair share of high-profile customer service failures.

Today, United provided a statement to Corporate Counsel, announcing that their general counsel, Brett Hart, will now take on customer service and experience.

The decision to hand the customer care function over to the general counsel is certainly unusual. But according to Bob Barker, managing partner at executive recruitment firm BarkerGilmore, it’s no longer so out of the ordinary to see GCs working in roles outside of legal. “We’re definitely seeing an increase in general counsel being tasked with different assignments other than just the legal function,”

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Customer experience and satisfaction has been in my purview for the past few years, working as an attorney in the healthcare industry. The ability to analyze a process that needs revamping, advising on a complex situation, and quickly processing information from different departments, are all skills I attribute my legal experience and education that contribute greatly to my success in customer success.

Daniel DiLucchio, a principal of legal consulting firm Altman Weil, told that he has seen general counsel branching out, but never to customer service. Although there are many benefits to bringing a legally trained mind to a department outside of legal, DiLucchio said that in-house attorneys need to be sensitive to the fact that other departments work differently. “One of the things you have to be careful of is the old saw: when you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail — that customer service issues don’t immediately become tainted as legal issues,” he advised.

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In sum, the key to customer success, attorneys… or some hybrid version.

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