Pre-Paid Legal Services is in hot water again. Not a surprise to this Internet lawyer. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has apparently sent it a draft complaint that alleges the company has made misleading misrepresentations about its services. The company is also being investigated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
No doubt I’ll get flamed for posting this, but did anyone expect this wouldn’t occur? Pre-Paid Legal is the K-Mart of legal services. If you can’t afford to pay for anything else, and don’t qualify for free (taxpayer funded) legal representation by Legal Aid, Pre-Paid Legal Services is better than no representation.
This brings us to the choices you make both as a consumer and a business owner between speed, price, and quality. You don’t get all three in the real world. At best you get to pick two. More often than not, you get one. And perhaps that’s all you want.
For example, you’d want the best heart surgeon you could afford. Quality would be your primary factor. Who cares if the doc on the next block is the fastest? You want the job done right. The same thing goes for when you retain an Internet lawyer or another type of attorney.
If you’re shopping for clothes for your kid who is outgrowing everything on a monthly basis, chances are you’d be focusing on price, i.e. quality wouldn’t be the prime consideration.
Late for work and your gas tank is almost empty, the closest filling station is going to be attractive because of speed even if you pay more per gallon. Your goal is to make it to work on time…not save an extra 40 cents.
Think about these factors each time you invest in a product or service. If you want speed, pick the fastest. Want the cheapest, go discount. Want quality, pick the expert.
I’d contend that most client service issues arise from purchases made from a vendor whose primary benefit is not what the buyer considered most important.
What’s the solution from an entrepreneur’s view? Make it clear in your pre-qualification process what your strength happens to be.
As an Internet lawyer, my business law firm focuses on quality first and speed second (where it doesn’t affect quality). Only those who are willing to invest a little more for this qualify as clients. That’s okay. There are plenty of Pre-Paid Legal Services lawyers out there for bargain hunters.
What about your business?
What do you deliver? Price? Speed? Quality?
Are you clearly telling your prospects? If not, why not?