What’s one place you don’t expect to find a staircase?
How about in a hotel bedroom… separating you from your bathroom.
Which might be fine during the day, but how about during the night if you need to pay a visit in the dark without waking your partner? Or at any time if you have reduced mobility?
This particular unexpected staircase was one I discovered recently in my hotel room in Seville (Spain). The hotel website didn’t mention rooms with staircases, and it wasn’t mentioned at check-in either. As it happens, my husband and I were able to manage. But what if we’d not been able to?
Telling us in advance that some rooms had staircases would have been a good idea – managing our expectations and giving us a chance either to request a room without a staircase or to book a room elsewhere. When we arrived, we were told the hotel was full, so by the time we saw the staircase it was too late to do anything about it.
This reminded me of a recent example I saw of a law firm not giving enough information in advance during a conveyancing transaction. A family member was buying a leasehold property for the first time. The conveyancing fee quote of £999+VAT turned out not to include negotiating a retention of monies from the seller for unpaid service charge or rent – this was £250+VAT extra.
Our family member didn’t know this was something that might be needed, and the extra fee only became apparent when they were told, during the contract negotiation phase, “It’s not worth negotiating a retention because our fee is £250+VAT and the retention isn’t likely to be more than £250+VAT”.
Advance notice of not just the fee, but also why/when a retention should be negotiated, would help this firm’s clients make an informed choice about fees and avoid the ‘bad taste’ left by getting information when it’s too late to do anything about it. As a result, this firm won’t be getting a positive review or a referral to family or friends.
Start by identifying how to better manage client expectations, particularly when dealing with new clients. Ask yourself what might surprise them (in a bad way) and what can you do to give better advance information to avoid leaving a bad impression.
If you do that, you’ll not only avoid complaints from clients, you’ll also increase the likelihood they’ll refer you to others.
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