How to Use Customer Surveys to Improve Your Law Firm
Most law firms are actively interested in improving their firm from the inside out, providing clients with better service and better overall experiences. But what, exactly, are your clients looking for? Are you confident that you understand your firm’s greatest strengths and weaknesses? What could you be doing differently?
It’s hard to answer these questions in a vacuum, which is why customer surveys are so powerful. But what’s the best way to use customer surveys to advance your firm?
Why Customer Surveys Are Valuable
Let’s start by looking at the reasons why customer surveys are so valuable.
- Honest feedback. You’ll get immediate, honest feedback from your clients directly. This can help you get an unbiased, third-party take on the services you’re providing. Most people think they’re doing a great job and that their customers love them, but this can’t be true of everyone. Customer surveys are your opportunity to learn the honest truth.
- Opportunities to recover from bad experiences. Certain survey settings can also give you an opportunity to recover from bad experiences with your clients. If someone uses a survey to complain about how they never received a follow-up, or to express disdain for one of your staff members, you may have a chance to address it – and resolve those negative feelings.
- Internal education and training. Surveys are also ideal for boosting your internal education and training. You can use surveys to help your staff members understand the impact of their actions and to guide them to provide better customer service.
- Ideas to improve the firm. It’s hard to generate ideas on how to improve your firm on your own. Customer surveys can give you insights that you then use as creative fuel to make improvements. Your clients may point out critical things that are missing or express a desire to see differences in the future.
Long-term, this can result in:
- Better customer experiences. Customer experience is key to the success of any business, and law firms are no exception. Better overall customer experiences will make your clients more confident, more comfortable, and more cooperative; they’ll also be more likely to work with you in the future.
- More positive reviews. It’s also a great way to improve your business so you get more positive reviews. More positive reviews may then translate to higher search engine rankings, more traffic, and ultimately more new clients.
- Better reputation and word of mouth. Similarly, once you start making serious improvements to your firm, you’ll benefit from a better reputation and better spread of word of mouth. Even total strangers coming to your firm will walk in with a better impression of you and a better mindset.
- More referrals. You can also get more referrals this way. Your clients will leave happier and feeling better supported – so they’ll be more than happy to send their friends and family members your way as well.
Tips for Using Customer Surveys
Of course, merely adopting the use of customer surveys isn’t enough to maximize their potential. Follow these tips to get more out of your customer surveys:
- Go above and beyond for your clients. First, go above and beyond the call of duty for your client. Provide the best legal services you can, but also feel free to support them in other ways. For example, you may be able to recommend settlement loans to them; a settlement loan will provide your client with near-instant cash, which they can then use however they see fit. It’s a sign of confidence in the case and a major financial help during what could be a very difficult period of their life. Just be sure to vet your provider before recommending them for your client.
- Ask for feedback regularly. Customer surveys shouldn’t be a one-time effort; instead, it’s better to ask your clients for feedback on a regular or semi-regular basis. This way, you can chart your progress over time and get responses from a diverse mix of different types of customers. Consider conducting several types of surveys, including exit surveys for departing clients and annual surveys for all your former clients.
- Anonymize at least some surveys. With a name attached to a survey, you’ll have an opportunity to follow up with people who have had a bad experience. But some clients won’t feel comfortable expressing their full opinion unless they’re anonymized. Make sure you conduct at least some anonymous surveys.
- Collect a mix of quantitative and qualitative data. Quantitative data is numerical (e.g., “on a scale of 1 to 5, how likely are you to refer a friend to this firm?”), while qualitative data is more open-ended (e.g., “what do you think about our firm?”). Each approach has strengths and weaknesses, so make sure you’re using both to capitalize on them fully.
- Keep your surveys short. Most people have a short attention span. If your survey takes too long to complete, or if it’s bulky and confusing, you’re not going to get many completed responses. Keep your survey length to an absolute minimum, both in terms of number of questions asked and average time to complete.
- Make surveys convenient and accessible. Your surveys need to be convenient and accessible. Make them mobile-friendly and easy to pull up; you’ll get far more responses in the long run.
- Follow up. If certain clients aren’t responding to your initial requests for surveys, consider following up with them. Even a couple of follow-up messages can drastically improve your chances of getting a response.
- Pay attention to trends. Don’t just look at the current snapshot; pay attention to the overall trends of customer sentiment unfolding over time. Where is your momentum taking you?
One of the best ways to get better feedback (and better reviews) is to provide your clients with more support and better services. For some clients, that could mean recommending pre-settlement funding (also known as a settlement advance). For more information, or to get in touch with one of our pre-settlement funding specialists, contact us today!