Why Haven’t You Heard of Caravel Law?

I have been with Caravel Law for just over two months now and I have spent much of that time talking to our clients, the lawyers, the co-founders and the team here, trying to learn as much about the firm as possible. It didn’t take long to establish two things for certain:

• our clients really like the firm
• unless you are a client, or you are related to someone who works here, you’ve probably never heard of Caravel Law

We know clients like us because we ask them regularly, and they take the time to respond. Our net promoter score for June 2018 was over 90. Our lowest score was a 5, and when we called the client to ask what happened, we were told he had made a mistake. He has had nothing but great experiences and meant to give us a 10. One client referred to her lawyer as “a godsend.”

I take no credit for this, as it was all established well before I arrived, so this is not boasting. It’s just what’s behind one of the main questions that I have asked over the last few weeks – if our law firm receives that kind of feedback, why haven’t people heard of it?

It’s fair to say that many more people knew the firm under its old name, and it’s at least partially a self-inflicted wound as the firm’s marketing efforts have been limited. In any event, you really don’t want to be one of the best kept secrets in the Canadian legal market and so it’s our job to fix that.

However more interesting to me is the question of how do you become a law firm that people can’t wait to tell others about, not just one that gets positive feedback scores? It reminded me of an interview with Brian Chesky of Airbnb where he talked about how they thought through what a 5-star experience would be, and then went beyond that. As he puts it,

“The paradigm with customers today is 5 stars. The problem with 5 stars is you have to be really bad to get 4 stars. Reaching 5 stars is just being nice enough — we wanted to build a product that you loved so much you would tell everyone. At Airbnb, we strive to have our customers contact the company and demand a 6th star be added to our 5 star review because the experience was so good.”

Scaling Airbnb with Brian Chesky (class 18 notes of Stanford University)

If we’re getting high NPS scores, but our clients aren’t telling everyone about it, then I think it means we deliver a 5-star experience, but not a 6-star or 7-star experience. At least not yet. We have happy clients who feel like they are getting great value, but we are going to have to do more if we want our clients telling all of their friends about us.

Airbnb put a lot of thought into what defines a 6-star experience. It included your host coming to the airport to pick you up. On the podcast, Masters of Scale, Brian from Airbnb described the 7-star experience.

“Welcome. Here’s my full kitchen. I know you like surfing. There’s a surfboard waiting for you. I’ve booked lessons for you. It’s going to be an amazing experience. By the way here’s my car. You can use my car. And I also want to surprise you. There’s this best restaurant in the city of San Francisco. I got you a table there.” And you’re like, “Whoa. This is way beyond.”

Maybe that’s going too far, especially when you’re only renting out your extra bedroom at a pretty low rate. However, if you are running a law firm, how many stars should you be aiming for? Given that Inavero’s research suggests the current industry average NPS score is 19, clients are looking for more stars than they are receiving. For us at Caravel, even if our NPS score is 90, we know that we need to keep aiming higher.

Do law firms know what a 6-star experience for clients looks like? I’m hoping that in the near future, that 6-star experience will be something you hear about from someone who just worked with Caravel Law.

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