How to implement a successful client feedback program

Client feedback tools are like gym memberships. They work if you use them.

Why client feedback is critical

Client feedback isn’t just “nice to have” – it’s critical and urgent.

  • Positive feedback motivates staff and makes work meaningful. Additionally, it makes referral opportunities obvious.
  • Mixed or neutral feedback can be used to ideate new service initiatives or even service lines.
  • Negative feedback can be used to fix systemic problems in a firm’s service or identify urgent problems with specific clients before it’s too late.

Recently, a FirmChecker user saved a $50,000 per year retainer by picking up dissatisfaction with a client they didn’t even know was unhappy.

Where firms go wrong

Firms’ biggest point of failure in implementing client service programs is very simple: they don’t actually implement it.

Why?

Behavioural change is difficult, no matter how important.

If you ask practitioners to solicit feedback from their clients manually, they might do it once or twice. However in the long run they will forget, or it will go to the bottom of their ‘to do’ list. Days become weeks, weeks become months, and all of a sudden, asking for feedback becomes embarrassing.

As a result, firms often give up before they’ve started.

Strategies for successful implementation

Two things are required: cultural buy-in and automated feedback collection.

Cultural buy-in

Show, don’t tell.

Before you raise it with your team, think of your best 5 clients and ask them for a review first.

Share your new glowing reviews with the team and celebrate them. You’ll be surprised how meaningful a simple gesture of appreciation is to your colleagues.

You can say: “wouldn’t it be great to get more feedback like this, and for prospective clients to see it?”

Automation

Don’t try to instill a behavioural change, asking that your team manually requests feedback after each matter. This will only frustrate them when some clients ignore their requests.

Make it easier, by instructing your team to integrate feedback requests in their email signatures. Instead of a repetitive action that leads to frustration, this single action can pay dividends for years with no further effort.

We recommend implementing something like this:

If you were happy with your service, we’d really appreciate it if you left us a review to help us grow. Otherwise, please give us some advice on how we can do better. You can do either at this link.

You can find an automatic e-signature generator in your FirmChecker Dashboard.

Complementary efforts

This simple, zero-touch strategy will see reviews trickle in and grow over time. However, if you want to go faster you might want to consider the following approaches:

  1. Implement an automated request when matters are closed.
  2. Include your survey link on your invoices.
  3. Request feedback in your periodic newsletter.
  4. Batch feedback requests periodically for those who haven’t left reviews already. Remember, while it’s easy to forget to do something like this, direct, manual requests get the highest response rates!

An omnichannel approach helps to progress your firm’s move towards a culture of accountability to excellent service.

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