Apparently not too many firms according to an online “Leadership Matters” survey (a collaboration of TheRemsenGroup and Sterling Strategies) reported on the Managing Partner Forum this week. The survey sought data on individual lawyer contributions to their firms in the areas of financials, client satisfaction, people development, and firm processes/procedures.
What particularly caught my attention was what 56 law firm leaders reported regarding client satisfaction; to wit:
“91% have ‘limited’ or ‘no’ measurements of client satisfaction.”
Ouch! The danger relating to that statistic should be self-evident.
Further, as it so happens, a post this week on Law Practice Matters blog by Erik Mazzone talked about why law firms should track client satisfaction. It cited an article by the Australian Beaton Research + Consulting firm, which reports (based on 10 years of data, according to Mazzone) that like the proverbial canary in a coal mine, client satisfaction is “a leading indicator for the rising or declining fortunes of the law firm.”
It really doesn’t take a flash of brilliance to figure out that dissatisfied clients are the death knell for any law firm. Clients may not even complain, they’ll just take a hike. Is there really any need for a firm to be convinced that it should undertake immediately an effort to determine if there key clients (especially) are satisfied?
Mazzone suggests two survey tools (Net Promoter Score and SurveyMonkey) that can help obtain client feedback. Personally, I prefer in-person or telephone satisfaction surveys over written or online ones. The feedback is better, more detailed and more reliable. (See an earlier post of mine on suggestions on how to do that.)
Every law firm better give a darn whether their clients are satisfied – by asking them and not relying on the billing partner’s say so – or they might just regret it.