100 episodes

What would a law firm built by the founders of Disney, Four Seasons, Amazon, and Zappos look like? Lawyers (and other professionals) aren't in the same "service" industry as those companies, but that doesn't mean we can't benefit from employing their rigorous service mindsets. We give you inspiration and tactics to smooth out your processes, bolster your reputation, and increase your revenue - every episode of Five Star Counsel has actionable tips for you to build the firm that clients rave about!

Five Star Counsel Podcast John Strohmeyer

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 21 Ratings

What would a law firm built by the founders of Disney, Four Seasons, Amazon, and Zappos look like? Lawyers (and other professionals) aren't in the same "service" industry as those companies, but that doesn't mean we can't benefit from employing their rigorous service mindsets. We give you inspiration and tactics to smooth out your processes, bolster your reputation, and increase your revenue - every episode of Five Star Counsel has actionable tips for you to build the firm that clients rave about!

    Making Service Improvements

    Making Service Improvements

    There's a common misconception and fear we see in attorneys. Attorneys can fall prey to thinking that becasue they're well-paid and well-respected, they don't need to think about making their service better. Many risk-averse, pessimist, perfectionist attorneys simply fear the potential failure that comes with change and growth.
     
    Neither of these is a good reason to avoid thinking about improvement. This episode, we discuss the ways you can approach gradual improvement, how to identify what needs to be improved, and how to get yourself started. 
     
    We'll even tell you how you can save a bundle in consulting fees!
     
    Closing Exercise: Ask yourself, "What can we do better?"
    What do you see out in the world that you've enjoyed? How can you implement or translate that to your own service? When do you ask employees for improvement suggestions? When do you ask clients for improvement suggestions?  
    Find a PDF worksheet for each episode's exercise on the podcast page at https://strohmeyerlaw.libsyn.com/
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    • 10 min
    Maintaining Your Service Consistency

    Maintaining Your Service Consistency

    Now that you have addressed your standards, and you've implemented processes that should lead to those standards being met, how do you make sure your firm is hitting your standards on an ongoing basis?
     
    Standards won't do much for you if they're never being met. I'll walk through the ways you can think about consistency in your service, ways to measure and track consistent service, and even what do when someone is regularly missing the mark or if your standard is just too lofty to begin with.
     
    You'll constantly be testing, measuring, and tweaking your service, with an aim to be as consistent as possible, and to deliver the same high standards, day in and day out.
     
    Closing Exercise: How do you test yourself? We're setting up the secret shopper program.  What could be tested?  How often will you be testing?  What will you do to be sure that people know and execute?  Determine training and scoring methods.
     
    Find a PDF worksheet for each episode's exercise on the podcast page at https://strohmeyerlaw.libsyn.com/
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    • 12 min
    Setting Your Delivery Standards

    Setting Your Delivery Standards

    Now that we've discussed the components of our firm's service, it's time to think about how we measure successful service. Setting these standards not only helps you track that everything is happening correctly, but helps your employees know if they're doing a good job. Most importantly, it helps ensure a consistent and high-quality experience for your clients. 
    We'll discuss touchpoints - the places where you and your client actually interact - and how to start measuring there. We'll talk about what to do if you're not hitting your standards, and how to consider adjusting your standards as your business changes.
    I'll get into some concrete examples that I use in my firm, but you'll really want to come up with your own standards that work for and support your firm's values, vision, and mission (see how it all comes back to those?). 
    Closing Exercise: What adjectives do you use to describe the delivery of your physical and technical components? Delivery is the adjectives and adverbs used to describe delivery. Let's think of three (I use "Clean, Fast, and Easy," but make these your own).
          Now, how can we quantify the delivery so we can measure how it happens? Some examples:
    How long does it take to respond to an email? How long to get from initial meeting to draft documents?  How long to return a phone call?  How long to get an engagement letter out? Find a PDF worksheet for each episode's exercise on the podcast page at https://strohmeyerlaw.libsyn.com/
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    • 15 min
    Your People: Hiring, Training, and Managing

    Your People: Hiring, Training, and Managing

    We've built the pieces of the machine for great service, but now it's time to focus on the fuel - your employees. People are the most important thing in your business, and we can't skimp on it.
    I break this episode down into two main parts: how to hire and how to train and manage.
    The most crucial single point is in your hiring process - most law firms hire based on skillset, which, of course, is important, but technically skilled lawyers aren't that tough to find. You want someone who understands, shares, and demonstrates your firm's values right from the get-go. At the least, someone who can get there quickly and naturally. 

    You don't just want someone who you'd like to have a beer with - that's not a culture fit, that's just a person you like. I'll get into the kind of questions, both technical and personal, that will determine a quality hire.

    Once you've got the right people, it's like a fleet of Rolls Royces. That's great, but even Rolls Royces need maintenance and tune-ups. This is where your training and management come in. How are they continuing to meet the firm's values and work toward the firm's mission? How you are managing them in a way that upholds the firm's values, works towards your vision, and keeps your employees - your firm's most valuable asset - happy, motivated, and fulfilled?
    Closing Exercise: How do you know you've got the right people in your firm? How are you delivering the working experience for your employees, and how do you know that they can carry out the firm mission?
    1. During your hiring process, what is one behavioral interview question that you can use to evaluate for this?
    2. Status check: can your employees recite your Mission and Values?
    3. Schedule weekly one on one meetings with your employees.
    Find a PDF worksheet for each episode's exercise on the podcast page at https://strohmeyerlaw.libsyn.com/
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    • 16 min
    Service Delivery in the New Experience Economy w/ Joe Pine

    Service Delivery in the New Experience Economy w/ Joe Pine

    Have you progressed beyond the dark ages of stodgy, antiquated law practice? If you're listening to this show, I bet you have, but has your service delivery fully embraced the current experience economy? What does that even mean?

    Our guest, Joe Pine, is here to explain. Joe is a distinguished author, speaker, and management advisor. We focus our talk largely around his influential book, The Experience Economy, and what that means for law firm owners.
    As our economy has shifted from a simple commodity-based one to a much more refined experience-based economy, our offerings and service delivery must change. Joe explains the five tenets that should guide your offerings in the modern economy. You should be:
    1. Robust
    2. Cohesive
    3. Personal
    4. Engaging
    5. Transformative 
    That final step, transformation, is crucial. You need to be defining the outcome of the experience and how you change your clients' situations.
    Joe explains each step in detail, and gives examples of how you can employ each one in your firm. 
    Find Joe at https://strategichorizons.com/, on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/joepine/, or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/joepine.
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    • 31 min
    Defining the Five Star Experience

    Defining the Five Star Experience

    Now that we've laid the groundwork for building great service, and talked about how to avoid pitfalls, we should really define the scale that we're grading service on. We are, after all, the Five Star Counsel Podcast! So what makes a "Five Star" experience?
    I'll give some detailed examples of what goes into an exemplary, five star experience for a law firm, and even work backwards to talk about the ways firms earn less than great reviews. All of this is setting the stage for the next few episodes, where we'll dive deep into the service component of a law business, and get into the nitty-gritty of service delivery.
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    • 17 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
21 Ratings

21 Ratings

DHM 2013 ,

Wonderful advice for service professionals

John is an attorney and the podcast is geared toward improving efficiency and client service for attorneys; however, the advice is applicable to all service professionals and I am using several ideas in my practice.

Cminus1 ,

Perfect length. Interesting guests. Valuable takeaways

A lot of golden nuggets - especially for legs or other professional service providers on every episode!

Jdizzle1330 ,

John gets it

John just had a way of boiling down complex ideas into an easy to visualize/digest/and act upon way.

I consistently find myself drawn back to his podcast over and over again because between him and his amazing guests it’s an enjoyable listen and I learn a ton.

You should too!

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