At Clocktimizer, we strive to make the legal market more transparent. To that end we have built a platform with different tools to help law firms achieve that goal. One aspect of this transparency is pricing predictability. This blog looks at why we all want transparency. Spoiler alert: Because transparency creates trust.

You are in a “people business”

You can be advising a multinational or a family for a will. In both situations, you are a service provider and you are dealing with people. And people – generally – like and trust honest people. When it comes to pricing, people like to know what they can expect. If people then get what they were told, they will start to trust you (more).

I do not believe that transparency for everything is the holy grail. Your medical records, your attorney-client communication, this information is not public for good reasons. For critics – read The Circle by Dave Eggers.

Examples of other industries

Let me give you some examples where we all really like transparency:

Taxis. Remember that faraway country where you needed to go from A to B. Remember that the cab-driver fleeced you? Even when you were on a meter, you would never know if a cab driver would just make an extra round. Now, companies like Lyft, Cabify and Uber have created that transparency. Despite the rough ride of Uber now – pun intended – they did a great job at bringing clarity to an opaque profession.

Restaurants. Ever been in a restaurant where you got the bill, just to find out that table charge, taxes, and a service fee of 15% were not included? Exactly.

Hospitals. Or imagine that you have to go to a hospital urgently. Well, we have health insurance for a reason. It provides pricing predictability of medical bills.

If you want to read more about how quality, timing and price relate, you might want to read this blog post.

Intransparency of pricing feels like lying

Intransparency comes with creating the wrong expectations. If people expect something and they don’t get it, or at a higher price, people feel being lied to. And if people lie to you, you don’t trust them (anymore).

Don’t be a cab driver. If you want to be that trusted advisor, make sure (at least) your pricing is transparent.