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ACC Takes Essential Step – Opens Up on Transparency

In a letter to law firm leadership, Association of Corporate Counsel General Counsel Susan Hackett explains how law firms can access the “satisfaction” survey in-house counsel have been participating in since ACC’s announcement of the initiative last October. The initiative, dubbed “Value Index” is part of the broader ACC Value Challenge. An evolving initiative for in-house counsel and law firm’s to maximize tools, ideas and define “value” in serving corporate clients. 

An article posted on the ABA Journal’s website today, with a link to Hackett’s letter, says law firms will now be able to see their own ratings and overall averages. This is a very important step in the continuing to make sure that the Value Challenge and related initiatives has meaningful impact.
 
As often is the case in client surveys (not formal client feedback) those communications can be unilateral; one side takes the time to fill out a questionnaire but the other side never gets the results. If the vastly over-surveyed in-house bar is going to take the time to provide “rating” information of the firm’s who serve them, then it is essential that become the basis of a conversation.
 
If law firm’s don’t know what their client’s are saying about them, how can they ever improve service, adapt to their client’s needs or truly understand what their client’s value?
 
The client feedback loop is essential. We always advise our clients that when asking for feedback from a client you are making a promise: You will respond to that feedback. If not, it’s a waste of time. Responding to feedback, adapting behavior, providing greater service and understanding the individual needs of a client is one of the most important steps in defining value.
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