What Are You Doing for Client Feedback?
If you operate a law firm, you’re already well aware that your clients play an integral role in the ultimate success or failure of your business. While it’s virtually impossible to please every client who walks through your office doors, ensuring your clients are satisfied with your services is the best way to earn repeat business in the future and to attract new clients by way of referrals from your current client base.
Whether you firmly believe that the vast majority of your clients are pleased with your services and you simply want confirmation, or you’re struggling to keep clients satisfied and searching for ways to improve your operations, seeking out client feedback should find itself at the top of your firm’s to-do list.
Why Client Feedback is Important
The only way to gauge your level of success when it comes to client satisfaction is to solicit feedback from your clients on a regular basis. Although most business owners aren’t exactly eager to open themselves up to criticism, asking your clients to tell you what you’re doing right and where they feel you can improve is key to maintaining a high level of client satisfaction. Opening up a line a communication between your firm and your clients during—and sometimes even after—the personal injury process is a surefire way to determine how successful your team is at providing the top-notch services you promise during your initial interactions with your clients.
In order to operate any business, you must develop and “sell” a product or service that people actually want to purchase. While this analogy may seem more relevant to a retail store that creates a unique product and promotes it to its customers, it rings just as true for law firms, whose “product” can be defined as the services they provide to their customers, or clients. If you’re not offering a product or service with which your customers are ultimately satisfied, they likely will turn to another provider the next time they find themselves in need of the type of services your firm provides.
Remember that it takes far less time and effort in the long run to keep your current clients happy in the hopes that they’ll become loyal clients who return to your firm the next time they have a legal issue—and also spread the word to their friends, family and coworkers about how pleased they were with your services—than it is to constantly track down follow up on potential leads and to search for brand-new clients that you can attempt to attract to your firm.
Gathering Client Feedback
Once you’ve realized the importance of soliciting client feedback, it’s time to actually consult your current—and occasionally past—clients and request that they provide you with their personal opinions. While it seems convenient to simply ask your clients how they feel about the services you’ve provided when you are face to face, putting them on the spot can end up intimidating them and cause them to sugarcoat their responses or refrain from offering any opinion whatsoever.
To garner feedback without intimidating your clients or putting anyone in an uncomfortable position, consider sending them a survey to fill out at their convenience. The best way to ensure the responses you receive are genuine is to send out surveys that allow your clients to remain anonymous so they will feel free to share opinions they may have kept to themselves had you asked them directly, whether over the phone or in person. Email surveys are often the cheapest and easiest to administer to clients, and a variety of customized options are available on websites ranging from SurveyMonkey and Survicate to SurveyGizmo and GetFeedback.
It’s important to realize that you may not always like what your clients have to say, and you may often disagree with their evaluation of your firm and your attorneys. Make a conscious effort before you send out surveys not to get defensive and to never disregard any thoughts or opinions your clients share with you about your business. You can’t improve your operations and ultimately achieve long-term success in the industry without allowing your clients to voice their opinions, carefully analyzing those opinions, pinpointing weak spots and making a solid action plan that allows you to significantly improve your law firm for both current and future clients.
Jared Pierce hung his own shingle right out of law school and has spent every minute since then discovering the joys and difficulties of chasing success. Anyone who has ever met Jared will tell you h