Commit to Something Other than “Client Satisfaction”


Client satisfaction is overrated.

I’ve been doing a lot of prospecting aimed at professional services firms – law practices, CPAs, staffing agencies, etc. Since I like to be as specific as possible with my cold emails, most of my prospecting time is spent identifying firms who will resonate with my message.

Having thoroughly scoured hundreds of websites and finding only a small percentage I’m interested in seeking a connection with, I’ve also gained a clear picture of what I’m looking for as a potential client.

It’s not – I repeat not – my own satisfaction.

You’re dedicated to client satisfaction?

It’s always incredibly refreshing to find a firm who has something to say on their website other than the clichés I’ll list (non-exhaustively) here:

  • “We’re absolutely committed to client success!”
  • “We operate on a ‘Client First’ philosophy!”
  • “Our clients are like family!”
  • “We’re committed to providing the highest quality (this term has about as much meaning as “gourmet”) services for our clients!”
  • “Our dedication to client satisfaction drives everything we do!”


Client Satisfaction is a cliché.
“Client satisfaction informs every brow we furrow.”
(Photo by Johanna Buguet on Unsplash)

Throwing your firm at my feet as though my satisfaction were the most important thing in the world is not only too improbable to be credible, it makes my eyes glaze over. If I’m doing any kind of shopping, I’ve seen it on all your competitors’ sites, too. It’s overplayed. Meaningless.

That means it’s just taking up space and drowning out any genuinely distinguishing message you may have.

It’s not that I wouldn’t want to hire a firm that’s dedicated to my satisfaction. Of course I would. But I would also never expect to see a firm that claims not to care about my satisfaction. Therefore, if the claim were “missing” from the site, I wouldn’t think twice about it.

Yes, it matters that you’re good and effective at your profession, but there’s nothing you can say on your website that will convince anyone that you are. Everyone knows it’s coming from you, and is therefore biased as hell. The long lists of credentials and areas of expertise on each partner’s personal bio? Meaningless to almost everybody, not to mention unreadable.

Care about something besides me!

If you really want to stand out, be part of something greater than the limited world of your own business and clients.

People have a lot of choices for how they spend their money. Increasingly – and this especially applies to millennials and younger – consumers and business owners are demanding that their dollars support something. They want to know what kind of people they’re doing business with. They want to make sure they’re not subsidizing baby sea otter hunting expeditions.

You can’t communicate these essential tokens by parroting the same banalities as everyone else.

Align with a social cause. Highlight how you treat your people (real policies, not vague allusions to “work/life balance” or “leadership culture”). Tell the real, vulnerable personal story that spawned the company.

In short, be human. It’ll boost client satisfaction.

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