I still think that the average firm doesn’t check in with clients often enough or rigorously enough to confirm what aspects of service the clients like and what they’d like more of, or less of. Not sure I understand why this is the case. The value derived from such questionnaires is potentially huge. The costs are negligible.
I fear that the main blockers are the partners who are fearful that relationships might be damaged by the process of carrying out the survey. They may even be fearful of the results!
Many firms find it difficult to decide who to use to carry out these surveys. When I was at the consulting arm of PwC, we had a Director of Quality who carried them out after a significant project. When I moved to CMS Cameron McKenna, the senior partner went out to the biggest clients once every year or two. This demonstrated that we cared about the quality of we service we provided.
Some firms use me! They brief me on the relationship and the matters worked on so I can ask appropriate probing questions. I always find something which needs to be improved. Sometimes the client isn’t happy with the lead partner. Sometimes it’s only the invoicing procedures. Sometimes I’m even instrumental in educating the client about other services my client could offer!
Here is a typical questionnaire I use when asked by firms to carry out a client satisfaction survey. It can obviously be adapted depending on which aspects of service need to be explored.