It’s much easier today then it has ever been for clients to switch law firms. With the rise of the Internet and other communication tools, you can guarantee that your clients are receiving information – on a daily or weekly basis – about the services and successes of other law firms and lawyers – competition has never been so fierce. A disgruntled client is more likely to simply call your competitor and make a switch then spend their time and energy confronting you with a service or work quality concern. You’re taking a big risk if you expect that your clients will simply volunteer criticism or confront you with problems they’re experiencing in working with your firm. Instead, clients may express dissatisfaction by simply drifting to another lawyer or firm.
In order to retain existing clients and develop new ones, the services you offer must be continuously monitored and improved as necessarily. Unless clients are asked for their opinions they will likely not volunteer the information. Client surveys and face-to-face interviews (formal or informal) provide the information needed to gain a competitive edge and offer the highest level of client service.
Knowing where you stand with your clients is your best defense against losing them. Taking the time to conduct in-person surveys or interviews with clients, demonstrates that your firm genuinely cares about its clients and is interested in improving the services it provides. Survey processes are also opportunities to introduce clients to additional services the firm offers, that they may likely need, and didn’t know about otherwise.