Our firm is a seventeen attorney firm is San Diego. We are a boutique business litigation firm and we represent companies of all sizes. We represent several Fortune 500 companies. I am a member of our three member marketing committee and during our last meeting one of our members suggested that we consider a formal survey of our clients. What are your thoughts regarding client satisfaction surveys? Is this something we should consider?
Personally, I believe that if you represent institutional clients such as yours, that soliciting feedback from clients and acting on that feedback is one of the best marketing/client development investments that a firm can make. During a recent client satisfaction telephone interview with a corporate client of a law firm a client told me, “If our lawyers would pay just a little more attention to us, take us to lunch once in a while – without billing for the time . . .if they would treat us like they care … I’d give them all of our business in the entire state of California.” Statements of this sort are not at all uncommon in client satisfaction interviews. Of all investments of a firm’s marketing budget, none is as cost effective as a client satisfaction survey.
A law firm’s existing clients are important source of continuing and new business for the firm. The most efficient way to bring in business is to sell additional work to existing clients.
Surveying the firm’s clients is an effective method of monitoring satisfaction. It is the first step towards improving client relations and increasing revenue from the current client base. A well-designed client satisfaction survey can help a firm do the following:
For firms that represent institutional clients I believe that structured telephone interviews are the best survey method.
I have had situations where law firm clients have advised me that they had stopped sending files to the firm due to a relationship issue with a particular partner and the law firms, after being appraised of the issues, were able to resolve the problem and repair the relationship.
There are several articles on our website – see links below – that discuss client satisfaction survey programs and how to get started.
John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC