client feedback

Does your firm include client feedback sessions as part of its client agreement?

80% of firms believe they provide a great client experience. Only 8% of clients believe the experience is great.

In last week’s PSM podcast David Lecours (from whom the title this post is taken) and Josh Miles have a great chat about the issue of ‘Client Feedback’.
It’s a brilliant 28 minute chat – with loads of insight and tips and my 5 big take-outs were (in no particular order):
  1. does your firm include client feedback interviews/sessions as part of its engagement letters? – if not, how serious is your firm about this?
  2. clients who rate you between 2 and 3 (out of 5) are the ones you need to speak to the most because they’re the ones who will give you the most honest feedback.
  3. never forget to ask the interviewee: what service do you wish we could offer you that we’re not currently offering you?’, and
  4. what didn’t I ask you today that you’ve been dying for me to ask you?
So that’s 4, where’s number 5?
This comment by Josh Miles:
“even if a client is not having the best experience, just the fact that they have been asked at this point sometimes the flattery or the thought of that makes them develop a little more affinity towards the firm just by virtue of having been identified as someone that their feedback matters.”
Go over and spend 28 minutes of your life listening to a great chat on the most important part of our business – our clients!
As always though, interested in your thoughts/views/feedback.

What do clients value most when dealing with their lawyers?

Last week I posted on the recent publication of the 2016 LexisNexis Bellwether Report (this year titled ‘The Riddle of Perception’) – with specific reference to the disconnect within the Report between opportunities lawyers identify and approaches they plan to take.

Looking at the Report further, when asked: “How do you rate the service given/received in terms of value for money?” – 30 % of lawyers thought they offered “excellent” value for money, whereas only 8% of clients agreed.

Probably more worryingly, 46% (almost half!) of law firms believed they provided a “very good” service, and only 19% of clients agreed.

And of extreme concern to law firms? – 32% (or almost a third!) of clients thought the service provide by law firms was “average“, whereas [not too surprisingly] only 5% of law firms agreed.

 

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Clearly a disparity remains between the service that lawyers believe they are providing and those that clients feel they are receiving.

And herein lies the problem: as we all know, “value” is subjective, in the eye of the recipient. In other words, it really doesn’t matter what “value” law firms believe they are delivering, but what the client believes they are receiving trumps all.

So, “What do clients value most when dealing with lawyers?“:-

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Well, fortunately that question is answered in the Report too.

Takeout from this?

Just because a lawyer agrees to provide a discount doesn’t mean they’re providing greater value!

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#BizDevTip: The only KPI that matters is client satisfaction

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Whether you are a newly admitted lawyer or an old-hand, in an industry that revolves around a 12-month cycle the one thing that you can be sure of is that you’ll be subject to a lot of internal and external reporting metrics.

These might be the service standards imposed by clients, such as the need to respond to phone calls or emails within a certain number of hours. Or they could be driven by the firm you work for, such as meeting an annual revenue budget. More than likely, they’ll be a combination of both.

And the metrics may even change over time, to determine whether you are being efficient or effective.

But the one thing you can be absolutely certain of is that the only key performance indicator (KPI) that has any meaning whatsoever is whether or not your client is satisfied with the job you are doing.

Sure you need to worry about revenue. You even need to worry about profitability. Pro bono and corporate social responsibility (CSR) are important. But none of this matters a darn if your clients aren’t satisfied.

Which is why it is absolutely astonishing that as much as:

 “94% of global law firms clients were not asked for any formal feedback from their primary law firm”

–  Acritas Sharpelegal2013

By all means, keep big data. Even mine the information and undertake data analysis. Do whatever it is you need to do to keep your law firm running.

But remember, giving your client the opportunity to provide you with formal, and impartial, feedback on your performance is one of the very few real differentiators left.

And if you are one of the 6% of global firms that are doing this, then there is every chance your firm really is one of the few that is standing out from the crowd.

And if not, you’re really only providing an easily commoditized service.

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