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Little Orphan Annie’s Commentary on Law Firm Client Service

I came upon this “Annie” comic strip somewhere decades ago and have discussed it ever since.  If even Daddy Warbucks can’t get lawyers to return his calls promptly, it must be an industry-wide problem.

Or, more accurately, if even Leonard Starr, the creator of “Annie” felt that the problem was so omnipresent that the average reader of the comic strip would find “Daddy’s” situation amusing, our industry has a real problem.

Cartoon, Panel 1

Panel 2, Cartoon

Annie Orphan, Cartoon,

In just three panels, Starr conveys the relative value of Skills versus Service.

Here, billionaire “Daddy” has chosen a responsive but “barely competent” lawyer over his “brilliant” lawyer who didn’t return phone calls promptly.  The strip contains barely 50 words, but its powerful message should be reinforced in every law firm marketing and professional-development curriculum.

It’s this profession-wide service flaw that enabled us to develop effective client-service marketing initiatives like our Client Service Guarantees for both Ungaretti & Harris (1994) and Sandberg Phoenix (1998) and Two-Hour Response for Laner Muchin (2000), and many others since then.

As a marketing and branding strategy, client service works.

If you sincerely make the extra effort, if your firm strives to go the extra mile, clients recognize and appreciate it.

It’s not easy. But it’s effective.

© 2017 Fishman Marketing


About this Author

Ross Fishman, CEO, Fishman Marketing

Fishman Marketing develops the legal profession's most-effective brands and websites. Called “one of the leading experts on law firm marketing” by Lawyers Weekly, Ross helps firms dominate their markets and generate revenue. FM has designed 200+ marketing campaigns and taught 10,000 lawyers worldwide how to generate new business.

A former litigator and marketing partner, Ross has written 250 articles and received countless marketing awards, including the Legal Marketing Association’s “Best of Show” grand prize five times. A Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management, Ross was...