Cathryn Minors and William Cooper of the Conyers Dill & Pearman law firm reveal how they deliver exceptional client service.
As a young person embarking on a professional career, you will receive lots of advice about gaining the right qualifications, honing your technical skills, and networking. All of which is important,
but once you start working with clients, your attention will have to shift from meeting your own needs to focusing on theirs. Paradoxically, you will find that putting clients first may be one of most important keys to getting ahead yourself.
Conyers Dill & Pearman is widely recognised as one of the world’s preeminent offshore law firms. It attained this position by providing its clients with high-quality, timely, and responsive service conducted in a friendly and professional manner. “We are and always will be a firm that puts our clients first,” explains Graham Collis, director and head of Bermuda Corporate. “Our success stems from the quality of support that we give clients to help them meet their strategic objectives – not just as lawyers but as trusted business advisers.”
Cathryn Minors and William Cooper joined Conyers as law pupils in 2014 and qualified as associates in 2015. Both said that client service was only touched on briefly at law school. “Almost all of what I have learned about client service has been on the job,” says Will. “Working closely with more senior lawyers at Conyers has been very helpful in that regard.” Cathryn agrees: “The importance of client service really manifested itself during my pupillage. It is part of Conyers’ culture.”
When it comes to responsiveness, the firm’s standards are high. “We are expected to respond to clients promptly,” says Cathryn. “When a client calls or emails, I try to get back to the client right away, even if the initial response just confirms receipt and gives a time frame for a fuller response.”
The nature of the business is such that most interactions with clients are via phone or email, so finding an appropriately professional but friendly tone is critical. Cathryn says she takes her cue from the client: If his or her approach is informal, she responds in kind. Will has found it is important to communicate clearly and concisely. “Clients want a full response, but something they can read and assimilate quickly. They don’t want legalese or jargon. You want to be to the point, but not too abrupt – it’s all about finding the right balance.”
So how do you know if you have met the mark with clients? “The best compliment is getting work from that client again – especially if he or she comes back to you directly,” says Cathryn. “That’s how you build your practice in the long run.”
Cathryn & Will’s top-five client service tips
- Be accessible and responsive
- Communicate clearly and concisely
- Do your research so you understand their business and their needs
- Be constructive: If you cannot help a client in the way he or she wants, look for alternative solutions
- Have high presentation standards
This article first appeared in the 2018 edition of _[Your Future]_.