Client feedback for law firms – why do it?

on 9 August, 2011 Email this Email this - Print this Print this

In the new SRA Regulations, Mandatory Principle five states ‘(You must) provide a proper standard of service to your clients’. Measuring client satisfaction is an ‘Indicative Behaviour’ and a concept certainly appreciated by most solicitors if not acted upon by all of them.

What’s actually done often depending on the culture of their firm. Jon Hepburn from The Fedora Consultancy and Managing Director of Legallybetter takes a closer look…

In the past there has been a ‘no one knows our clients better than we do’ attitude of some law firms in choosing to ignore the need for getting client feedback.

  • Aside from non-compliance in the future, paying lip service to client satisfaction creates a false impression and does not measure progress.
  • Whatever client feedback system or procedure is utilised there will always be a limited number of responses from clients as they are under no obligation to provide the information, but I recently met with a law firm recently that achieves a 70% response to questionnaires they send out.
  • Those that do respond are more likely to be those that have stronger feelings (either positively or negatively) about the service they received.

Remember, “A happy client will probably tell a few people, but an unhappy client will tell a lot more.”

It’s better to find out and act on feedback than ignoring it and hope it goes away. In this age of mass communication and social media – that’s unlikely to happen.

  • The increasing use of social media (LinkedIn, Facebook etc) to communicate is driving this change but it also helping the increasing number of ‘social media savvy’ sole practitioners and virtual law firms setting up in practice
  • I believe that we will see an increasing awareness among solicitors of the need to manage their individual reputations, not just that of the law firm they work for.

So why do this?

There is little point for most law firms trying to compete on price unless they prepared to restructure their processes and fee systems – a big task. Leveraging your reputation as a source of competitive advantage much more sense.

  • Perceptions of value are not just about price, especially where judgments by the client as to the quality of the service provided are very hard to make.
  • Business development – client feedback surveys are not just something that should be done to comply but, in the new legal environment, should be seen as part of the business development process, e.g. client recommendations bring in new clients and new revenue, client suggestions can improve services etc.
  • As a final thought, the value of existing clients is often forgotten in the search for new business.

To find out how Legallybetter can help your law firm call Jon Hepburn on 01743 366288 or email jon.hepburn@legallybetter.com for an online demonstration.


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Topics: Client feedback · Law Firm marketing · outsourcing · SRA compliance
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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Jason Cobine // Aug 16, 2011 at 12:15 am

    Regulation alone may not make it happen. Feedback is given freely when clients are happy or unhappy. Few have the time to collect it.

    Perhaps it could be attached to another process? Could solicitors mention they collect feedback when they send the invoice?

    @jasoncobine

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