Bloomberg recently published an article on the exhaustion many consumers are feeling about the plethora of customer satisfaction surveys they face. The piece attributes the steady increase in quick surveys to a number of factors including a growing interest in utilizing customer feedback to improve services and the ease of reaching customers via email and text. It also points out the increasingly common but ineffective strategy of encouraging customers to inflate their responses with rewards or other enticements.
But the fact that surveys like the Net Promoter Score are being overused in a number of industries does not mean they can’t be highly valuable. You probably see little value in rating the effectiveness of your hand soap, but clients are going to be much more interested in providing feedback on a crucial service like legal support.
The strategies for an effective feedback program depend on the goals of the firm and the limitations in place, but there are a few general rules of thumb to keep in mind:
- Keep it brief and don’t waste the client’s time
- Make the questions relevant to the client’s specific needs and wants
- View an electronic survey as a conversation starter. Use electronic surveys to reach more clients and to help prioritize your other client feedback efforts
- Be clear that you want the client’s honest feedback, not a pat on the back
- Engage a third party like Wicker Park Group when possible to ensure you are getting the full picture
- Perhaps most importantly, be prepared to act on the feedback
Don’t let the overuse of feedback surveys dissuade you. Client feedback is one of the most effective ways you will differentiate your firm and get the information you need to succeed as outside counsel.