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How Law firms can use the Feedback Model to improve client retention?

Law firms and Feedback — Multiple pieces of research on the subject have shown that there are extremely minimal chances that a client would stick to a  law firm if proper feedback is not taken on time or considered in the further approach of their case. However, it has been observed that only 16% of law firms take proper feedback from their clients and out of those, only 9% take apt measures for the same.

This indifference by law firms makes clients switch providers if not satisfied, which is the worst nightmare for any law firm. There is indeed a direct relationship between client feedback and a company’s long-term success. Given that law firms gain business mostly from word of mouth, every dissatisfied client can have an impact on your firm’s success.

Further, how you deal with your clients and what you exactly do with their feedback drastically affects your law firm’s reputation. It is, therefore, crucial to ascertain the level of client satisfaction before you lose them by serving them in the best way possible.

What can you, as a person responsible for business development,  do to enhance value and service levels, and retain those clients?

The answer is pretty simple – Consider their feedback and take actionable steps. A healthy relationship with the client will ensure that you both equally share risks, and have your goals in line with each other. The more you focus on their goals and meet their demands, more likely are they to become your permanent clients. Also, greater investments in maintaining client relationships can benefit your company, not in just monetary terms but also improve the learning and help attorneys attain knowledge.

Why you should have a feedback model in place at your law firm?

At times, junior attorneys lack direction and proper guidance, due to which they end up with lesser opportunities and an improper half-baked skill set to cater to the clients. Imagine what a blunder it would be if you lose out on your resources i.e the attorneys and your business consumers i.e. the clients? We are a people company like any other law firm and give huge importance to the personal growth of every person in the company. The first step to have a strong culture of self-improvement is feedback. 

To save yourself from this situation,  develop a proper feedback model to address the advice, compliments, suggestions, and criticisms of your clients. Below listed are some ways you could use to improve your services using feedback from clients:

  • Filter and analyze – Study every single feedback that you get, a dedicated team for the same should be formed to ensure that only relevant feedback process to the attorneys.
  • Feedback Model – Design a model which would enable you to minimize errors and follies. Find out the most common feedback that you get and create better alternatives.
  • Roadmap and Action Plan – Map out problems and ensure that the bridges between the attorneys and their clients lessen every single day, this will help them come up with a more precise and better way of handling the case.
  • Face-to-Face Feedback Management System – Prefer choosing a face-to-face feedback management system rather than simple forms because people express a way more in person than over a screen.
  • Bifurcate the Feedbacks – Identify which cases worked out well merely due to luck and which ones did because of a good approach plan. Segregate the feedback on this basis and work out in the needed direction.
  • Continuous communication and feedback – Constant feedback and communication with the client can improve the whole strategy of the case. At times, attorneys hardly pay attention to what their clients actually need and go on proceeding formally with the legal ways of tackling a particular case. But it is also important that you acknowledge your client’s opinions and align your way to theirs if it is possible or at least make them feel that they are contributing enough to the case.

A well-developed feedback model will also help you in understanding your firm’s competitive position in the industry, and you can take pertinent measures to improve your work and find a solution to satisfy your clients. It will also assist you in choosing a way to input into marketing plans such as identifying publications to read, associations to join and conferences to attend which could increase your potential as a firm altogether.  

Why you should develop effective in-house Feedback Methods?

Apart from client feedback, an in-house feedback system is pivotal to develop, if you want to achieve your fullest potential and be the ultimate name when people talk about “Law Firms”. We all have limited time and our work always keeps us busy. In such situations, it’s difficult for any senior attorney to take out time for proper reviews. So even if nothing is intentional, it leads to misguided and wrong directions to the juniors. Once these junior attorneys are lost in their career, gaining good clients or setting up a stable career life becomes irrevocably hard for them.

Also, not all systems are perfect. In fact, the first one that you are going to start with will have a high chance of getting modified. Therefore, always devise a pilot program for the initial days within the company, build substantial programs from inception with provisions in place for expansion and revisions over time. Tweak the model if you feel that it is not in a good position with your company’s agenda, a bit of trial and error should be able to yield a solid structure of a plan which you could finally implement all over. This also keeps people happy in a way that if they do not like certain things, their inputs are carefully considered and revisions are done.  

How to take effective feedbacks from clients?

We discussed how feedback is crucial in towards making a firm successful and how one needs to make a model and practise it in-house.

But there is still one question left to answer – How to take feedback from the clients?

There are multiple ways by which you can take inputs from your clients, which we have listed below for your reference. The first one is our personal favorite, but you could choose to go ahead with the one that best suits your needs.

  • Face-to-face meetings with clients: This will put the clients in a position where they will be true to you and give honest opinions. Also, if there is any confusion, you can clear it out then and there. It is the quickest way to gain constructive feedback.
  • Telephonic questionnaire: A call to the client can often be a good way to take feedback, you can mutually decide a good time to talk and then work out with the feedback.
  • Visit by firm management team: A visit by the team can be an effective way of taking feedback, and it works especially well if the meetings are completely thorough and properly conducted.
  • Informed visits by managers: Managers can collect the requisite information from the client and then put it across the company. They can also suggest some ways how they can improve and tackle the situation at hand.
  • Formal Q/A sessions: These sessions can be organized after the end of each legal proceeding or meeting with the client. Take in written notes of what they have to say and design a strategic approach to the same, only if it is applicable to the case.

Conclusion

Feedback, as we know it, can play a key role in making a firm profitable and successful. We had a look at some of the reasons why you need to have an effective feedback model at your law firm, the need and the way to design an in-house feedback model and finally explored some ways you could use to take feedback. We hope this knowledge comes to your aid so that you could collect feedback efficiently, analyze it and act on it accordingly, for better client retention.

To your success!

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