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Don’t turn a blind eye to client feedback

“He took forever to get back to me.”

“The parking options at the firm made it easy to meet with my attorney.”

“I don't think I would have made it through without them.”

Whether you like it or not, past and present clients are evaluating and talking about your firm. Do you know what they’re saying? And are you acting based on their feedback?

To properly manage your firm, it’s about more than practicing law, setting goals, and tracking hours. Success is predicated on how clients view the services you provide, but most firms are unaware of how they are perceived. Today, a gap exists between how firms see client sentiment and the steps they take to monitor it.

When lawyers in the U.S. were asked how they measured success, 85 percent responded that client satisfaction rates define success, and 25 percent considered it the No. 1 measure of success for their firm. However, according to the Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute’s 2019 State of U.S. Small Law Firms Report, just 37 percent of those surveyed are tracking client satisfaction.

Many attorneys talk about their clients anecdotally through informal, unsolicited feedback, but the opportunity is ripe to create a feedback process that listens to and understands what is said. By following a few simple steps, you can get ahead of the competition and establish a more modern client service model.

Getting started doesn’t have to involve a vast revamp at your firm. However, what gets measured directs what gets accomplished. You can start harnessing your client feedback by actively soliciting it, whether through a review button on your website, net promoter score (NPS) surveys or by asking for client comments throughout a case.  Also, you could deploy surveys of current and past clients every six months to get a consistent feel for how you’re viewed or track and discuss online reviews about your firm.

Regardless of which steps you take, ignoring client feedback and client satisfaction is a missed opportunity to make changes that can improve your firm. You never want to be the business that is out of touch with its customers. And sometimes it’s as easy as taking the time to ask questions and listening to the answers.

“I track client satisfaction because I talk to my clients frequently,” says Rob Sullivan, a product liability attorney and founder of Sullivan Law in Kansas City. “You have to be genuine. And it helps when your clients like you.”

By taking a proactive approach, you can better build trust with your clients, create connections to future business and, hopefully, adapt your service to their feedback.  If you’re looking to create a system to understand better what your clients think and say about your firm, see what Thomson Reuters has to offer.

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