Clients buy our time, experience, and skills; this is, as Abraham Lincoln once stated, our stock in trade.
Client insights lead to smart growth
- Clients are the very core of any business, and this is especially true for professional services. Yet, many law firms and other professional services organizations incorporate very little client feedback to inform strategy and tactics for the firm. In our experience, clients, when asked, are often more than happy to provide a bit of their time to help develop the relationship and give feedback on overall service quality and levels.
- Clients are often the greatest source of market intelligence for us. Your clients, the buyers, and those selling to them like to spill the tea during the pitch process. And, while expanding business should not be the primary goal of engaging in client listening, it is often one of the outcomes.
- We have designed and implemented multiple client listening programs for AmLaw 100 firms. This includes determining which client should be interviewed and by whom.
Your top twenty clients are a great place to start, but we have found that more opportunity lies in clients that are episodic or may engage your firm in only one or two areas. A third party should complete the client interviews. The advantage of a third party conducting the interviews is that clients are often more forthcoming if they are speaking with someone, they consider to be neutral, especially if they have feedback that might be offered as “constructive.”
- We would conduct interviews of as designated group of clients, draft a full set of meeting summaries and key takeaways, analyze the data en masse to identify trends, and offer suggestions for further outreach and any recommended changes to client service delivery. What you hear may be surprising and provide the firm with solid feedback to help guide decision making going forward.