For service professionals, our most important business asset is the relationships we have with our clients. They are the reason we do what we do, and they are the source of all of our revenues. The relationships we have as service professionals, with our clients, don’t end at the sale like most businesses do. Our relationships begin at the sale. It’s not over the counter, “here’s your product; I’ll see you next time you stop in.” It’s an ongoing relationship, and so for us service providers, the whole process starts with the hiring, when they sign our contract.
Then the delivery of the services comes afterward, so the client relationship begins with and is defined by our service contracts, and our service contracts can be called all kinds of things. Sometimes we call it an engagement agreement, master services agreement, scope of work, professional service contracts, many other types of names, and it really doesn’t matter what we call it.
What’s important is that we have one, and what it contains so our relationships with our clients are represented by these contracts. We consider these contracts so much more than technicalities. We consider them to be written relationships, and they must be treated with care because, for some of us, our relationships with our clients can last a really long time. So that contract is important; as I said earlier, if our client relationships are the most important assets of our business, then our service contracts are the most important part of our legal infrastructure.
So think about your service contract for a moment. How is it written, what does it look like, what is the impression that it gives? Does it show professionalism, what does it include, what does it leave out? Is it fair, what does it tell your clients about you, does it say the quality of your work? Does it show your attention to detail? And here’s a big one, does it show your clients how much you care? Does it encourage them to trust you? Because good relationships, including good business relationships, are built on all those things.
If you want our help improving the quality of your service contract, call us at 904-860-3111 or take a look around our website. We’ve got some good resources.