Law firm client feedback – planning for successYou might want to consider this topic as if your firm is an upmarket hotel. One where the attention to detail and awareness of the service experience is a top priority. Successful law firm client feedback programmes are ones that appreciate this. It is the perception of the service provided that is the reality of what will be provided as feedback – and quite possibly shared on the internet. Many retailers now have teams of people scouring social media sites watching for comments from customers so that they can act upon them as soon as possible in order to maximise opportunities for reinforcement and perform damage limitation on anything negative. This is because they know how powerful feedback is – positive or negative – in terms of influencing client loyalty and attracting new business. If feedback is helpful in influencing the purchase of, say, a book or a lawn mower, how much more important is it to the client-lawyer relationship?
At the very least, contact with existing clients and follow-up after a transaction can be a great opportunity to stay in touch and cement your relationship. Recently, we sent a feedback reminder on behalf of a client law firm using one of the online review systems. The first request received a 40% response and the follow-up attracted an additional 30% response from the clients. This figure will vary according to the area of law you are involved in.Be proactive about your law firm client feedback and act on the findings – a corporate culture focused on the needs of your clients should give you a source of competitive advantage. The role and influence of solicitor comparison websites is growing and growing. Sites such as LegallyBetter.co.uk have signed up to the good-practice standards developed by the Legal Services Consumer Panel. Remember that 10 times as many people will share a bad experience with their followers than the one client or customer that shares a good experience. Consumers are used to seeing negative reviews. The key is how they are managed and acted upon. You may want to consider using an independent or third party company to request and report your law firm client feedback. This can be reassuring to both the clients and the firm. In short, they will get the feedback you can’t – in particular the negative issues that can affect your firm’s ability to attract and retain clients. If you are concerned about client confidentiality and passing on client details to an outside agency, then choose an agency that is part of the Market Research Society and abides by its Code of Conduct. SUMMARY – law firm client feedback; getting the basics sorted
- Think like an upmarket hotel
- Be proactive about client feedback and act on the findings
- Manage your reputation
- Promote the positive, respond to the negative
- The role of solicitor comparison websites
- Independent, third party client feedback services are frequently more effective