How to Get Effective Client Feedback
Lawyers face a unique challenge when it comes to getting client feedback. Many of the normal client feedback solicitation techniques may be perceived as unprofessional or simply can’t be easily adapted to a law firm setting. It is difficult, for example, to craft an online survey asking clients to rate your legal knowledge when clients are unlikely to have much of a basis of comparison. It can also be useless asking clients to rate your timely resolution of their case when speed is often the worst possible tactic.
Whether you can craft a great survey or not, client feedback can still benefit your firm. Feedback helps you bring in additional clients and to better serve the clients you have. Consider the following tips for soliciting and receiving effective client feedback for your law firm:
Decide what you want to improve
Though general surveys can help you identify issues you weren’t aware of, most lawyers have at least some idea of where their firm can improve. Are clients coming to you for one issue, then hiring someone else for their next legal task? Are you having trouble receiving payments that might be resolved if your online payment portal were more user friendly? Look at all areas of client interaction and identify one to three issues to focus on and improve, if possible.
Contact long-time clients
Whether you send out a personalized form email or call each one directly, your long-time clients may be your best source of feedback. Ask them if they’d mind giving their impressions of your performance. Especially in your target areas and whether they have any other areas of concern. As a bonus, you are more likely to retain clients who see you trying to improve based on their feedback.
Solicit feedback from unsatisfied clients
You are unlikely to be able to remedy every reason for which a client was dissatisfied. However, if more than one client complains about the same issue, you may wish to flag that issue for further evaluation.
If a client responds with feedback, you should respond quickly. Thank them for their time in helping to build your business. Their feedback might not be diplomatically expressed. Nevertheless if they’re focusing on irrelevant issues or not. If a client took time to try to help you improve, she deserves to be kindly thanked. Ask additional questions, if warranted, to clearly understand her perspective. Then later, if you are able to remedy the problem, follow up again to report what you have improved upon.