Amazon: The Disney of Delivery

Where does your law firm stack up? Are you creating experiences or are you delivering “business as usual?”

I wish I had some really good excuse for not publishing to my blog in over a week; like I tripped, fell and broke both my hands. But I don’t. Fact is, I’m still in the belly of the beast finishing up my manuscript for social.lawyer due to my publisher Thomson/West this week! Yikes!

Even if I had an a good excuse for my readers or my publishers, I’d be falling beneath the Amazon standard of Disney delivery,  the very thing I strive for in every business encounter and encourage my law firm clients to do: deliver Amazon or  Walt Disney to your clients.

Every time I order from Amazon (or Zappos – thanks for your support of professional tennis – love ya!), it amazes me. I get the feeling I’m a kid at Disney World.  It starts with the appeal: millions of choices, millions of visuals, with hundreds of people standing beside me saying I liked that and you might too.

From start to finish it’s an experience, not just a purchase. It’s so easy to use their one click button and buy with confidence knowing they they back up everything they distribute. (True for me in over eight years and counting.) But the crème de la crème is the delivery…it is an experience like no other online vendor. It is so efficient and they always seem to exceed my expectation even though they clearly state when the delivery will be made. As they say, they are in the business of delivering happiness.

What I don’t understand is why other online vendors can’t or don’t have the same standards of service? Why can’t they deliver happiness?

Amazon isn’t instant gratification; it’s better. Schlepping to a store and buying something that I immediately take home and use isn’t nearly as gratifying as shopping (with my unknown friends who review products and give objective advice) and getting that package in the mail a day or two later. For a few dollars more per year I sign up for Prime Shipping on Amazon, which means I get most items virtually overnight or second day delivery. Whether or not they beat their deadlines it always feels like it. It’s VIP treatment and it works. (Shouldn’t your law firm be doing this?)

It’s the Disney formula: book the trip, anticipate the day, then have it delivered perfectly exceeding expectations and leaving the client with good memories to share with others (or at least the perception thereof). Disney doesn’t sell rides and Amazon doesn’t sell products; they sell experiences. (And shouldn’t your law firm be doing this, too?)

No offense to the “other” online stores I’ve made purchases with over the last few weeks while I’ve been locked down to my computer drafting my book, taking only a few minutes to contemplate the things I need and steal a minute to order them online—yes, I have the iPad in my shopping cart on Apple.com but have yet hit the purchase button. I still have the capacity to see the difference between needs and wants. Quite unfortunate for my bank charge accounts.

Sorry but, Nordstrom and Gap you just aren’t cutting it. If the only time I have to shop online is on a Saturday morning and you tell me that it will take five to seven business days to arrive (excluding Sat and Sunday when your offline stores are open) after the order is acknowledged (Monday) you are NOT delivering a happiness experience.  You’re not making me mad and it doesn’t stop me from buying your stuff- yet-you are just not making me happy. I recently purchased from both vendors and waited and waited and waited, till it was so anti-climactic that when I got the box my feeling was “Finally! I thought you had forgotten about me.”

Maybe most people are used to that lag time; it’s business as usual. Maybe I’m just spoiled because Amazon rocks and I use them religiously. Still, when it all comes down to where I’m going to purchase something, I’ll choose happy—the one that ensures my experience always exceeds my expectations—over one that is doing business as usual. Better still for those who exceed my happiness quotient, I’ll tell my friends and my blog readers. How’s that figure into your business model…pretty solid I’d say.

There’s a lesson in this for me and for you. Is your law firm creating a Disney experience or is it business as usual? What do you think? Can law firms deliver a Disney or Amazon experience to their clients? Or are some law firms delivering the experience but aren’t doing enough to brand it so we’d know about it?

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1 Comment

  1. Jayne Navarre
    April 22, 2010

    The news from BTI is not encouraging, right? Maybe it’s hard to deliver happiness to clients in the legal industry because so many times the process of dealing with legal matters and issues is inherently unpleasant–unlike receiving a book or a pair of shoes it the mail! Still, like you say, there are probably some very easy things a lawyer or law firm can do to at least “delight” the client–like returning phone calls or being upfront about how much work is involved and what the bill might look like.

    Just started reading a review copy of Tony Hsieh, CEO Zappos, forthcoming book “Delivering Happiness” and while I didn’t get far into it yet I did what all bad readers do and flipped to the end. There I found this quote: “Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” BUDDA.

    Food for thought. JN

    Reply

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