Client Feedback Interviews & Surveys
There isn’t one right way to conduct a client survey, only wrong ones.
We begin the client survey project by sitting down with firm stakeholders to determine the approach and complexity that will best benefit the firm’s objectives. For most law firms that go through a strong client interview survey, the end result more than covers the time and cost of the project. When done right, the information gathered can be used not only for retention and increased opportunities with the participants, but play huge roles in evaluating current law practice management efforts at the firm and helping to evaluate growth opportunities as they might relate to a new office, practice group, lateral hire or merger.
The key to client interviews is in eliciting honest and open feedback that a law firm can translate into valuable data that leads to increased opportunities—both with the client and in determining future business development planning. There are many reputable marketing companies focusing on client interviews. In some cases, they are provided by publishers or journalists, in others by former law firm marketers, and in some cases by marketing consultants. However, none of those skill sets provide the level of interplay that we offer. All programs are conducted by Micah Buchdahl, who not only is a journalist and marketer, but more importantly is a licensed, practicing lawyer with personal experience as an in-house counsel. The combination of attorney-to-attorney interaction creates an atmosphere of speaking with a colleague, who has been in his/her shoes, an understanding of confidentiality in certain elements of conversation, and often mutual relationships between other General Counsel and law firms. At the same time, as a business owner himself, Micah relates to the small and midsize business owner facing many of the same issues in retaining counsel. As an executive responsible for millions in revenue, Micah was often in positions of evaluating counsel and legal risk as well.
Survey results are delivered in a variety of formats and approaches, depending on the firm’s goals for the program. In some cases, we present our findings directly to the firm’s relationship attorneys and management. In other cases, firms prefer reports with recommendations for moving forward and improving efficiencies. In many cases, these programs begin as pilots with a particular attorney, industry, practice or office. We assist you in selecting the right participants, including drafting of letters, e-mails and phone scripts.
Sometimes, law firms prefer to utilize their own attorneys to conduct the interviews. It is not necessarily a wrong approach, but the results will simply provide a different type of data, closer to “customer service” than drilling down for important information, such as comparisons with competing law firms.
We run through your goals and objectives, and prepare a memo with the many routes and approaches the firm may choose to take in developing the program. In some cases, we have trained attorneys and marketing professionals in-house to serve as the program leader, sometimes in full-time positions. In those instances, we develop the plan and coach the personnel. In others, we take the lead from start to finish—relying on the firm to identify the participants and make the proper introductions.
Why are client surveys important?
- They give you the opportunity to learn more about your practice—what the client likes and dislikes.
- You obtain feedback before the dreaded, “why did they leave us?”
- The data helps you better set priorities for spending (technology, business development, staff).
- Clients see the survey as a show of caring.
- Results provide a sense of ROI to show soft results of business initiatives.
What a survey can help you accomplish?
- Get a clear picture of your relationship with the client.
- Redeploy resources in the direction that the client sends you.
- Discover ways to cross-sell and provide new business.
- Prepare marketing plans that mirror your data.
- Follow client revenue from survey participants in the short and long-term.
- Get an all-important “touch” from key clients and those you would like to become more significant to the firm.
Whether it is a simple client satisfaction survey, client visits, or client service improvement initiatives, HTMLawyers can craft a project that fits your budget and goals.