The Practitioner: the client’s always right

TIMING IS EVERYTHING, especially in business. In our firm the most important thing is clients and keeping them happy, so knowing when to step down and pass the reins to younger, more talented staff and partners is critical.

The last thing we should be doing is letting the same old miserable partners continue to upset the people paying the fees!

A couple of the senior partners were very good at knowing when the time had come for them to pass the majority of their client work down the chain to the younger members of the team.

We have one partner though who, not far off his 60th birthday,  still thinks he is capable of dealing with all manner of clients. He still thinks he is approachable, client friendly, knows how to listen to their problems and help solve them.
The reality couldn’t be further from the truth, however.

In the past month we’ve had two separate clients contact the office and ask for a new partner to deal with them after being upset by the “rude, condescending, bearded man”. 

He would rather talk to clients about his exploits and experiences than listen to their issues.

He would rather tell them that their systems are all wrong, and they should be running their business the same way he runs his, than actually help them to find a tailored solution for their business.

I have been given the unenviable role of having to tell him about the two latest complaints, and if I don’t do it quickly I’m sure they won’t be the last. It is only a matter of time before he upsets some of the female staff also. He’s a court case waiting to happen!

I’m struggling to think of the best way to tell him without it sounding too personal, although the irony of the situation is that he wouldn’t think twice about saying something too personal.

Answers on a postcard please.

The Practitioner’s uncensored thoughts come from the coalface of a regional firm in the heart of England

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