Four Characteristics of a Great Client
I had the privilege of serving as a panel member and speaker during the 12th Annual Sedona Conference© Institute Program on eDiscovery held recently in Nashville. The two-day program is the closest thing Sedona offers to a traditional CLE program, with leading judges, practitioners, and academics guiding in-depth dialogue on a range of cutting-edge issues.
As part of the client service panel discussion, I was asked to address the following question: What makes a great client? I and my colleagues at Level 2 Legal have been fortunate – over the course of our collective careers – to work with many wonderful clients, both large and small, from household names to startups. And in our judgment, when things go especially well with a client and their matter, four characteristics are usually present.
- A great client engages in clear, candid dialogue and communication. At Level 2 Legal, we consider this to be the foundation of every client engagement – because if mutual respect and transparent communication are present, everything else tends to fall into place nicely. And notice that this characteristic – like those that follow – is symmetrical. We need to “raise our hand early” and clearly communicate information from our side, too.
- A great client views us as a seamless extension of their team. This is one of the highest compliments that we can (and often do) receive from our clients. Great clients demand from us the same attention to detail, time commitment, and knowledge of their business and strategy that they demand of those professionals who work behind their walls.
- A great client makes 411 calls, not just 911 calls. Discovery generally – and eDiscovery in particular – can be an urgent business. And when the 911 call comes, we meet the need. But not everything is or should be an emergency – and great clients know that making 411 calls improves quality and performance across the board, while also reducing loss prevention risks.
- A great client focuses on what they do best – and allows us to do the same. Seth Godin said it nicely in a recent blog post: “Tell me the problem, not the solution.” Every day, we have our clients backs when it comes to discovery and eDiscovery process and procedure. And with those bases covered, our clients are free to continue doing what they do best – litigating cases on the merits and setting the overall strategy for success.
If these characteristics resonate with you, please give us a call. It would be our privilege to include you among the great companies and firms that we’ve served.
Chris Schultz serves as executive vice president and general counsel of Level 2 Legal Solutions. In addition to serving as the chief legal officer, Chris helps coordinate all aspects of the company’s managed review and corporate compliance projects. He also leads engagement teams assisting clients with a full range of eDiscovery and litigation readiness projects. In addition, Chris is available to provide clients with expert testimony and special discovery master services. A dynamic speaker with more than five years of college-level teaching experience, Chris is a frequent presenter of continuing legal education and other seminars concerning eDiscovery.