The 2005 issue of Robert Half Legal’s Future Law Office report, “Client Service: Challenges and Strategies,” at 13, quotes a senior lawyer in the legal department of Ernst & Young. When a client satisfaction survey revealed that clients wanted faster responses to phone calls and e-mails, the general counsel’s office instituted a new policy. According to it, the goal is to get back to any client within two hours. Not to resolve the issue that quickly, but to “acknowledge requests promptly so that people know they will receive assistance.”
The letter of the two-hour policy could be observed, but the spirit falter. Clients do like to know you got the call, email, fax, or instant message – but even more they want guidance. A return receipt quickly delivered doesn’t do all that much, although it is better than a black hole.