Although I believe that law firms will gain more work from clients because they seek feedback on how they are doing, that cannot be the reason for undertaking such a program. The honest reason for seeking client feedback must be based on caring for the client and the relationship. All else will take care of itself.
Bruce Allen over at Marketing Catalyst has a post that spells out “The Wrong Reason for Client Satisfaction Programs.” He advises firms to avoid conducting such programs simply to:
- Avoid losing a client,
- Keep up with competitors who are doing them,
- Stand out from competitors who aren’t,
- Keep clients from talking with competitors,
- Save money, since cheaper than trying to land new clients,
- Make firm look good, and
- Have firm help show the client that the lawyer cares.
In other words, client feedback programs need to be genuine and not solely based on self-interest. I know law firms and consultants who genuinely care about their clients, to the point of losing business. It may be rare but as Bruce tells us it should be ingrained into the fiber of a law firm. As he puts it:
“Sincere care for people (your clients) cannot be taught in schools or seminars. It’s learned by example and mentoring. You have to teach it, evangelize it, tolerate nothing less — the reward is the stuff of remarkable careers.”
Every firm should consider seeking feedback as a vital part of the client relationship. But, it should be done for the right reasons.