By michelle_pgs | July 19, 2022

I was so excited – it was going to be our first time away from home that year.

Taking advantage of the lockdown relaxation, we’d booked a self-catering apartment in Poole for the weekend.

The weather forecast was great, and we were looking forward to four days away from home, from work, and from London.

Poole and the surrounding areas were lovely, but the accommodation part of our trip didn’t go quite as well as we’d hoped.

We’d chosen a “stylishly furnished” apartment based partly on the photos on the website but also on how the owners described their approach to providing the highest quality “boutique” style accommodation and their attention to detail to make sure everything was “perfect”.

When we arrived, we had a good first impression of the apartment – it was bright, stylishly decorated, and had high-quality furnishings. It lived up to what the owners had described.

But as we looked around, we noticed that the promised “little luxuries” of a complimentary bottle of wine from Berry Bros & Rudd and “Cowshed” toiletries were nowhere to be seen.

A bit disappointing, but not really a big deal (we’d brought our own).

However, we started to wonder if anything else that had been promised was not being delivered… was that “attention to detail” really being applied?

As we looked around the room more carefully what we found was…

… a room that hadn’t been properly cleaned (dust on the bedhead, on the tops of plug sockets, and on skirting boards)

… broken things that hadn’t been fixed (curtain hanging off the rail, broken kitchen door, a very wobbly tap)

… and don’t even get me started on the dried bloodstain on one of the pillowcases!

We raised this all with the owners who sent their cleaning team in again to fix the issues. And they offered to refund the cleaning fee of £45 that had been included in the price we’d paid.

But that was it. No explanation of what had gone wrong. No real apology. No engagement about the issue other than the bare minimum of fixing it and processing a small refund that we hadn’t asked for.

And now we’ve received a request from to rate our stay and leave feedback.

How different could that feedback have been if the owners had engaged with us to apologise about the issue, and followed up to ensure we were happy!

If they had shown the same “attention to detail” in sorting out the issues as they had applied to designing the apartment, they could have ended up with a positive review about how well they dealt with the situation, rather than risk a bad review that could put others off. And we’d have been more inclined to go back or recommend it to friends.

Things can go wrong in any kind of business, whether it’s hospitality or legal services. But it’s how you deal with things when they go wrong that leaves a lasting impression on the client.

Take action

When things go wrong it’s an opportunity to deal with the situation in a way that leaves the client more impressed than they would have been had things gone smoothly to start with.

Don’t miss this opportunity when it arises.

Providing excellent client service (even when things go wrong) is essential because repeat business and referrals from existing clients will help you grow your legal practice without constantly needing to find new clients.

This approach of ‘Mining the Client Gold’ is one of the ‘9 Profitable Practice Accelerators’ I cover at my FREE online seminar on how to eliminate the 3 Limiting Factors of Law Firm Profitability so you can have more clients, more profits, and more time off.


Or you can join me and other small firm owners at the ‘Profitable Practice Secrets’ workshop where we’ll work together to analyze what your firm or practice needs in order to grow, and then start implementing the key ‘Accelerators’ to get more clients and increase your fee income and profits. See the full agenda for the workshop, read testimonials about real results other lawyers have had and check ticket availability HERE.


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