Don’t ask clients what they think – they might tell you!

Customer services

One approach to enhancing customer service!

Apparently clients are still saying that few firms are checking with them about their level of satisfaction with the service that the law firm is providing. What a shame! It’s such an easy way of providing evidence that, as Matter Partner or as Client Relationship Partner, you care!

Client Service Checklist

If you’d like a simple checklist, try this approach:

  1. On a scale of 1 – 10 (with 10 being outstanding), how would you rate our level of service?
  2. What do you particularly like about the service?  [encourage clients to give 3 responses and probe to find out the details]
  3. What aspects of their service would you like them to improve? [again seek 3 responses and probe]
  4. How important are the following aspects of service (5 = extremely important; 4 = very important; 3 = important; 2 = not very important; 1 = not important at all)
  • Appropriate use of technology
  • Being proactive (ie not always waiting for you to tell us what to do)
  • Consistency of service (from different practice groups or offices)
  • Clarity on fees
  • Having partners accessible to you at all times
  • Keeping you informed of developments
  • Negotiating skills (and appropriate toughness in litigation)
  • Providing added value services (eg training, updates on legal issues from seminars, newsletters etc)
  • Providing clear, commercial, practical advice
  • Quality of junior staff
  • Service from support staff (ie reception, switchboard, secretaries)
  • Speed of work and keeping to timescales
  • Understanding your business and industry sector
  • Working well with your team

5. How would you score the quality of service provided by us in terms of how well they meet your expectations ( 5 = excellent; 4 = very good; 3 = good; 2 = fair; 1 = poor)

[same list as above]

6. Other areas to explore:

There may well be several other important areas to explore, such as:

  • Image/perception (and how different to other firms, especially those you consider to be competitors)
  • Fees, cost-consciousness and value for money
  • Cost/billing procedures
  • Increasing/decreasing use of solicitors over next few months/years
  • Experience when visiting your office
  • Service when partner is away (eg on holiday)

Final comment

The next question for you to consider is, when do you ask these questions? Do you wait to the end of the matter? If it was me, I would be seeking feedback as the matter progresses. It is likely to be irritating for clients to have too many reviews but, at the moment, there are clearly too few!  So get asking! Also, ask yourself the question…..If you don’t ask, how might the client interpret that?

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