By Cynthia Sharp, The Sharper Lawyer
When is the last time you asked a client if he or she was happy with your relationship? Hopefully, you have kept your finger on that pulse throughout the course of representation. Upon completion of a legal matter, you have a chance to gather information through use of a survey. Your firm’s file closing process should include sending a survey to each client. There are a number of online survey tools that can be used; however, any practitioner can begin surveying clients today by using the template provided below.
While implementing the process takes a little extra work and you may even want to remain in blissful ignorance, your firm (and ultimately clients) stand to benefit because you have the opportunity to:
- Improve Service - Soliciting client feedback keeps you apprised of issues that can be addressed by you to improve the client’s experience.
- Address Concern or Complaint – The adage “If you like our service – tell others and if you don’t like it – tell us” applies particularly to law firms. If a client indicates dissatisfaction, pick up the phone IMMEDIATELY and address the problem.
- Compliment Staff Members - When a client praises one of your staff, pass on the compliment – publicly.
- Remind Clients Why They Like You - As the client answers the questions, they will (hopefully) convey positive feelings – which will be reinforced during the process.
- Ask for Referrals - Clients who like you are thrilled to pass your name onto their friends, colleagues and family members. At the very least, the client may provide additional names for your database list.
Feel free to use the following template for your client satisfaction survey:
CLIENT SATISFACTION SURVEY
Establishing and maintaining strong relationships with our clients is one of our paramount concerns. We rely on feedback from our clients to identify where we are strong and where we need improvement. We would appreciate it if you would take a few minutes to answer these few questions.
- What was your first impression of the firm? Did you find the reception area and office atmosphere pleasant?
- Were you greeted warmly by the receptionist whenever you called or visited the firm?
- Was the attorney or staff member on time for your appointments?
- Did you feel comfortable during your first in-person meeting?
- Were you kept up to date on the status of your case?
- Did your attorney answer your questions to your satisfaction?
- Were your telephone calls returned promptly?
- What do you believe is our firm’s biggest strength?
- What do you believe is the area we need the most improvement on?
- Were you ever surprised by the amount of an invoice received from our firm?
- What are the 2 ways we could better serve you?
- Would you recommend your friends, relatives or colleagues to hire us?
- Are they any other comments, suggestions, complaints, or concerns you would like to voice?
- Would you like to discuss any further issues with your attorney? Were there unanswered questions or aspects of the matter that you don’t understand?
Cynthia Sharp (firstname.lastname@example.org) is Director of Attorney Development at The Sharper Lawyer located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As a professional CLE instructor and attorney business coach, Cindy has established a national presence as an author and speaker on topics of ethics in the context of practice management, social media and technology – lecturing extensively to law firms, bar associations and other legal organizations.
Ms. Sharp’s Indianapolis and Merrillville seminar, Strategies for Taking Charge of Your Law Practice, has been completed however, you can still view the Video Replay or the Online/On Demand Seminar by Clicking Here.
ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN