Posted by: johnocunningham | September 19, 2011

Many Law Firms Still Shun “Customer” Feedback

A recent survey by LexisNexis revealed that 52 percent of law firms still do not have a structured client feedback program, and 59 percent of 415 senior personnel at law firms around the world said that customer feedback programs are “not a priority.”

Shockingly, 56 percent of respondent firms admitted that their lawyers are “ambivalent” or “not enthusiastic” about customer feedback efforts!

This is curious considering that 83 percent of survey respondents agreed that clients value the opportunity to provide feedback, and 70 percent of respondents who conducted surveys adjusted their firm behaviors in response to feedback.

In my experience serving as General Counsel and corporate secretary for two different companies of significant size, and serving a third as in-house counsel for a multi-billion dollar retailer, I never saw one month go by without some kind of senior managment report on how we were doing with customers.

In fact, every quarterly board of directors meeting featured a report of some kind on how customers were rating us and/or what we intended to do as an organization to improve our profile and our ratings with customers. We would never even consider charting our future course without customer guidance.

The minority of leading-edge law firms already know this, and they have already launched in-house customer/client focus programs that are conducted by highly reputable and experienced individuals.  Theyare also reaping the benefits and moving up the dial in revenue per lawyer and gross revenues.

I really have no idea how anyone navigates their commercial ship without a compass that tells them where the customers are and how to reach them from any given point in the marketplace. But the fact that so many law firms find the task of procuring customer feedback either bothersome or irrelevant is a great opportunity for  other firms that are willing to do what all of their most profitable corporate clients do – put the customer first!

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