“The best way to simply hear the voice of your customer is through their own feedback”.
In every industry, including legal, client feedback is essential to fully understand clients’ needs, expectations, and demands — which leads to a loyal client base. For this reason, it’s important for law firms to not only run, but also proactively manage, their client feedback programs.
In this blog we are going to answer:
1 – What is a Client Feedback Program?
2 – How does a Client Feedback Program work?
3 – How can Nexl help your law firm run your Client Feedback Programs?
What is a Client Feedback Program?
A Client Feedback Program (CFP), or Client Listening Program, is the cornerstone of a client-centric and service-oriented culture. Client feedback programs provide an institutional approach to legal service delivery and client satisfaction. Through the collection of client feedback, law firms can engage with their client base and evaluate the firm’s strengths and weaknesses. By evaluating the feedback, law firms not only improve their understanding of their clients but also align their service offering to what their clients are truly looking for.
There are five main reasons a law firm should implement a Client Feedback Program:
- Increasing client engagement
- Understanding the client’s experience
- Improving service offerings and delivery
- Increasing referrals
- Proactively addressing issues
First, by increasing the amount of engagement and interactions with each client, your firm remains top-of-mind and is more likely to win future business from those clients. By engaging with clients more frequently, we see the second reason emerge: with more open communication channels, law firms gain a better understanding of their clients and their experience with the firm. Third, when law firms understand their clients’ experience, they can improve the customer journey and better match service offerings and service delivery to clients’ needs. The fourth and perhaps most crucial reason behind Client Feedback Programs is that receiving positive feedback presents a perfect opportunity to request client testimonials, reviews, and referrals. Lastly, when feedback identifies issues or suggestions for improvement, law firms are empowered to perform more in-depth self-evaluations, identify potential problem areas, and proactively address client needs.
How does a Client Feedback Program work?
The first step in any Client Feedback Program is to select the clients the firm plans to approach. Although it may seem counterintuitive to limit a Client Feedback Program to a subset of clients, many law firms overload their programs by starting with too many clients at once. As a general rule, we advise including one client per partner. For example, if you’re a 20-partner law firm, start your Client Feedback Program with a maximum of 20 clients. The selection criteria for which clients to include is usually dependent on the clients’ recent revenues, strategic priorities, and perceived threats or opportunities.
The next step in a Client Feedback Program is objective setting. These programs come in many different shapes and sizes, so thinking about your objectives and key results will ensure your law firm knows what to do with the obtained results.
A Client Feedback Program is effectively a research project, and thus requires a methodology and standardised practices to obtain, analyse, and report against the data you will be gathering. Therefore, the next step in creating a Client Feedback Program is defining the process and method that your firm will use. Law firms need to think about the questionnaire or interview process, how to best capture the desired data (open-ended qualitative or closed quantitative questions), processing the information, and how to report on outcomes. Firms should also consider whether to engage third-party consultants to carry out interviews, create a more neutral environment and remove interviewer bias. In that case, from a procedural standpoint, firms need to ensure that any third parties involved are well-embedded into the overall program process.
Another integral yet often overlooked component of a Client Feedback Program is ensuring that the firm has proper follow-up processes to address any issues raised by the client—ranging from practical issues related to billing to client management and people-related issues.
Finally, to stay on track, your program needs to coordinate the variety of tasks and activities involved in executing each questionnaire or interview from start to finish—meaning that collaboration is the name of the game. Having a central place to track your program will improve transparency and accountability throughout the firm.
How can Nexl help your law firm run your Client Feedback Programs?
Whether you opt for a Client Feedback Program performed via electronic surveys, virtual calls, or in-person on-site visits, you will need a shared platform to plan and execute your program. All accounts and client contacts, as well as all related underlying engagement data, is automatically captured on Nexl, making it the ideal platform that will facilitate and accelerate your client feedback programs.
Here’s how law firms can run their Client Feedback Programs with Nexl
Step 1: Name Your Project & Link it to MS Teams
Here you’re able to name and describe your CFP, and link the project to Microsoft Teams for seamless integration. The description field reviews the overall client feedback program’s strategy and explains how the program will be run at a high level.
Step 2: Build your Client Feedback Program Team
Nexl allows you to create firm-wide projects or to build a custom team to manage any project including your CFP. By adding individuals to the project, it creates ownership and transparency, clearly establishing who will be involved. Once the team is added, your project space is ready for collaboration.
Step 3: Set SMART Objectives & Actionable Tasks
An important step for any project is setting SMART objectives. A SMART objective is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. These objectives break down the larger Client Feedback Program into measurable outcomes that will demonstrate success.
Tasks break the program down even further by defining each step necessary to achieve each objective. Tasks keep your team on track and focused by ensuring each person knows what they have been assigned, providing an additional level of transparency and accountability.
Step 4: Track Referrals & Opportunities to Manage your Feedback
Obtaining positive feedback from a client presents a great opportunity to ask for a referral or re-engage the client on a new matter. Tracking opportunities associated with a client feedback program adds an additional layer by identifying concrete business opportunities and projected revenue connected with the program.
On Nexl, you can easily connect opportunities or referrals to larger projects or initiatives by adding them from within the Project module, providing a concrete way to evaluate the impact of the program on the firm’s bottom line. And since Nexl is purpose-built for law firms, you can also track both inbound and outbound referrals.
Step 5: Create a Custom Questionnaire
Nexl’s Project space is highly customizable, allowing you to create questionnaires, build contact lists or company lists, and view your relationship and engagement data alongside feedback results. This is by far one of the most powerful features Nexl offers in Projects.
Step 6: Grow Your Revenues
With Nexl’s add-in for Outlook, your attorneys can work on the Client Feedback Program directly from their inbox. Once you have the power to set tasks, track objectives, and view relationship insights for every email, it’s never been easier to turn those relationships into opportunities, wins, and revenue.
To understand exactly how you can use Nexl to manage/run your Client Feedback Programs, click here to read the Project Use Case and click on the “Request Demo” button below.