July 12, 2011

Client Feedback is Important but It Doesn’t Have to be Formal

By Bob Simons, managing partner

The Fulton County Daily Report recently published a story about whether firms should formally solicit client feedback. The story uses compelling statistics from a LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell survey of senior law firm personnel to make the case that more firms should implement processes such as one-on-one interviews or e-forms.

The story says: More than 70 percent of law firms responded that client feedback affects the way their lawyers conduct business, yet fewer than half – 48 percent –formally solicit client critiques and just one-third communicate the feedback to lawyers. The story goes on to quote Derek Benton, director of International Operations at LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell, who says the lack of effort is a missed opportunity for firms.

There is no question that client satisfaction is of the utmost importance and it is vital to our relationships with our clients that they always feel comfortable in giving us feedback, both positive and negative.  In addition to feeling comfortable in expressing their opinions, it is also vital that our clients feel their input is valued and acted upon.  We feel it is important to our relationship that clients are empowered to voice their satisfaction and concerns at any time, as frequently as they desire.  They do not have to wait or spend time bogged down in a “formal” process.    At Hartman Simons, we work with a lot of privately held companies and often our day-to-day contacts are businesspeople and decision makers who are not serving in general counsel within their companies. We develop longstanding relationships with our clients and we continuously solicit and respond to feedback. Many clients today want to discuss alternative fee structures and arrangements, as well as volume discounts, and we are always willing to have those conversations and work to suit our clients’ needs.  We take great pride in the fact that we are flexible and able to customize our service to the needs of our clients.  As such, I would not want to impose a formalized process upon our clients.

What do you think?


Source: LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell


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