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All posts tagged Client Feedback

When clients take the time to offer feedback, they give their lawyers and firms a gift. It is the gift of their time—a gift demonstrating they care about the relationship. But with that gift comes great responsibility. And unlike a traditional gift, you have to do much more than just send a thank you note […]

Wicker Park Group is revisiting some of the processes around Client Feedback Interviews in a new series of blog posts called “Back to Basics.” This is the third article in the series. You can find the first article about how to choose clients for feedback here and the second article about the importance of preparation here. Most […]

At the end of a client feedback interview last week, the senior in-house counsel I was speaking with summed up the relationship by saying, “At the end of the day, they get all my work because they make me look good.” It is that simple. In an era where competition is greater than ever and […]

Wicker Park Group is revisiting some of the processes around Client Feedback Interviews in a new series of blog posts called “Back to Basics.” This is the second article in the series. You can find the first article about how to choose clients for feedback here. Whether conducting interviews face to face or via telephone, we recommend […]

Wicker Park Group is revisiting some of the essential processes around Client Feedback Interviews in a new series of blog posts called “Back to Basics.” This is the first article in the series. Check back regularly for updated entries. Unless you have unlimited time and resources, it is impossible to visit or call every single firm client […]

Many law firms understand how to meet their client’s biggest and most obvious client service preferences. We’ve all laughed about (and learned from) the story of the firm that FedExed its RFP response to UPS and was summarily dismissed from the process as well as the firm that forgot to remove competitor products from the […]

Fall is one of our busiest interview seasons at Wicker Park Group. Just last month, I conducted over 30 individual interviews. The companies ranged in size, revenue, region, complexity and legal department sophistication, yet the feedback themes were very consistent and tended to focus on communication. Firms received praise and appreciation for frequent, collaborative, consumable […]

I was recently challenged to explore what client service will look like in 2026. The good news is the conversation has already started, but the bad news is law firms have a long way to go. It is great that the idea of “client service” is authentically being explored within law firms, but what many […]

We will periodically revisit some of Wicker Park Group’s most popular blog posts. This one, from November 2015, was one of last year’s most read posts.   “While our attorney conveys knowledge and supervises other attorneys, we don’t see a successor. But we don’t see one in any law firm. There is no incentive to do […]

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 […]

“When I select attorneys to handle a matter, I really look for a team. I want the leader to be familiar with the case and giving people direction. I don’t expect him to get in the nitty-gritty from day one, but you do really need a very smart guy to be in the details and […]

The single greatest truth in any client feedback effort is simple: If you are not prepared to act on the feedback, don’t ask for it. In every client feedback program—whether we are conducting the interviews ourselves or training the firm on how to conduct them—managing the clients’ expectations is critical to the program’s success. We […]

In a recent client feedback interview, a deputy general counsel told a common story. He had all but forgotten the Thursday deadline for a filing in a litigation matter of medium importance. His regular outside litigation counsel had a conflict, and he was trying a new firm on the recommendation of a colleague. The firm […]

In my annual year-end scramble to obtain the required Continuing Legal Education credits, I attended a GC panel hosted by our local Legal Marketing Association. As the moderator asked the panel members questions about how they purchase legal services, the same response came up over and over: Relationships are the key. Early in the discussion […]

Firing in Slow Motion

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Rare is the in-house counsel who will swiftly and directly confront outside counsel about minor annoyances or even major frustrations. While there are exceptions, most clients just don’t have the time, bandwidth or interest to proactively offer course corrections. Many attorneys are by nature conflict averse and indirect. So if you aren’t picking up on […]

“While our attorney conveys knowledge and supervises other attorneys, we don’t see a successor. But we don’t see one in any law firm. There is no incentive to do it.”   Succession planning is one of those recurring issues that Wicker Park Group hears about regularly while conducting client feedback interviews. Whether due to a […]

The following was posted October 26 by Lindsay Griffiths on her blog, Zen and the Art of Legal Networking. Griffiths is the International Lawyers Network’s Director of Global Relationship Management.   If you’re a regular reader of Zen, you’ll know that I love in-house counsel panels. During the recent Legal Marketing Association’s Technology Conference, we had one […]

It is a rare gift for a lawyer who has spent an entire career solving clients’ problems to be able to sit down with a client, truly listen to the client’s assessment of the relationship, get feedback and—most importantly—act on the feedback. As a consequence, law firms often confuse client feedback interviews with “thank you” […]

Remember this saying? “Don’t ASSUME. It makes an ass out of you and me.” It’s a little childish and possibly not appropriate for a business blog, but it seems to be a consistent theme of our work lately and one worth considering. After almost 20 years in this industry, I am still shocked at how […]

Put the Phone Away

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“That lawyer does not take on each problem by rote but brings a renewed activism and discipline to the need to find the solution. That lawyer ‘listens’ rather than just ‘hears.’” –Client interviewed by Wicker Park Group     While hearing and listening both require using our ears, the words have very different meanings. Listening […]

If you ask most legal marketing professionals about their top pain point and/or worst use of resources, lawyer rankings and awards always rise to the top. They are growing in popularity and awareness, and the time demands to do them well are considerable. However, despite the thousands of interviews Wicker Park Group has conducted over […]

Great lawyers—the ones who have the highest client loyalty, extraordinary business acumen and an innate understanding of what it truly means to be successful—all share one common trait: They listen. They listen to their clients, they listen to their teams, they listen to ideas and they act on what they hear. But even the best […]

“You are not talking to my client.” “My clients will tell me if they have a concern or problem.” “Clients are too busy.” “We don’t know how to respond to negative news.” “I have already talked to them about how we can grow the relationship.” “Where do we start?”   The list of reasons to […]

Interview with James Koutras, Senior Corporate Counsel & Secretary Cristal USA Inc. Cristal USA Inc. is a Hunt Valley, Maryland-based manufacturer of titanium dioxide. The company has operations in Illinois, Maryland and Ohio. The parent company, Cristal, operates on five continents and is one of the largest producers of titanium dioxide and a leading producer […]

In our conversations with in-house counsel about what law firms can do to strengthen and deepen their relationships, we often seek a short and sweet answer to the question. The answer is easy, but following through is very, very hard. The answer: Understand what it means to differentiate from the competition in the eyes of […]

5 Key Questions for GCs

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As a former general counsel, I’ve been on the other side of the outside counsel/client relationship and learned a lot about what works and what really doesn’t work. While it should come as no surprise that effective communication is essential to that relationship, it is easy to forget how differently lawyers and C-suite executives tend […]

We all love to walk out of a client interview with a zinger: a big relationship problem, a previously hidden opportunity in a new area or a major client challenge we can solve. In fact, some clients don’t think their client feedback programs are effective unless there are big surprises at every turn. The reality […]

The majority of clients interviewed by Wicker Park Group have significantly more praise for their outside counsel than criticism. In fact, most complaints about law firm relationships typically result from failing to manage client expectations or other common communication breakdowns. On those rare occasions when you do receive surprising negative feedback, it is always better […]

Knowing that word of mouth referrals dominate attorney and law firm hiring decisions, Stinson Leonard Street decided to accelerate their understanding of the firm’s referability. Adding to their already robust client feedback efforts which include regular leadership visits, internal and third party conducted in-person and telephone client interviews, and a client advisory panel; the firm […]

Article By: Janet Ellen Raasch – Strategic Writing And Ghostwriting   Lawyers are always interested in getting more work and better work from their existing clients. If you ask a lawyer what his or her client really wants, the lawyer is likely to say “good legal work.” If you ask the client, you’ll get a far different answer. […]

The most important part of the client feedback process is being prepared to act on the feedback you receive. When we advise our law firm and professional service firms on best practices in client feedback there are several “rules” to follow, but the number one rule is: You are making a promise. You are making a […]

Most law firms do not seek client feedback despite the proven benefits, a new study finds. The study, conducted by Wicker Park Group in conjunction with LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell, finds that 52% of firms globally do not conduct client feedback programs even though 83% of the respondents believe that their clients value the opportunity to provide […]

In the January/February Issue of the ABA’s Law Practice magazine (pp. 11-15) Bob Denneyexplores what’s hot and what’s not hot in the legal profession. Among the marketing and business development trends, Denney lists Client Interviews in his top four along with Growth Strategies, the creation of the Chief Value Officer and filling long-vacant Chief Marketing Officer positions.   As […]

Client Alerts

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There’s an interesting conversation happening on the LinkedIn Legal Marketing group (membership required). Here’s my post to the question on whether firms should eliminate client alerts and generally how to ascertain the value of client alerts: — The answer to the question is: One size fits one. Every client is different and has different needs. […]

In the October 2010 Smock Sterling update on the legal marketplace the firm reports that in addition to lateral hiring firms are more actively engaging in client feedback: “Based on talking to our clients and friends in the legal market, both increased lateral hiringand regular formal client feedback have been widely addressed. Lateral hiring is clearly up and most healthy […]

My friend and in-house marketing professional extraordinaire Heather Milligan of Barger & Wollen has an excellent post at The Legal Watercooler on how to counteract the not uncommon lawyer stance that they are “too busy to market.” She offers great advice on how to overcome the failure’s of lawyers to understand the value of networking, and I am privileged to be mentioned in […]

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 […]

Last week, I accompanied one of our client’s managing partner and marketing director teams on a client feedback interview. The first thing the managing partner said after leaving the client’s office was, “That was really fun! We should be doing this every month. It should be part of my job description as managing partner.” And […]

My friend Pat Lamb just shared this reminder in his In Search of Perfect Client Service blog (via Dan Hull) Client service is hard. We always remind law firm attorneys to do the following three things when learning how to best serve your clients: 1. Ask how you are doing.2. Respond to the answer to that question.3. […]

At the 2009 Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference, Laura Meherg of Wicker Park Group and law firm CMO Erin Meszaros presented a workshop on client feedback. Billed as a “live” client feedback interview, the highly interactive program had the underlying goal of spreading the message that while the interview is important, the key components of […]

Using Client Feedback and Opinions to Develop Winning Service Strategies April 23, 2009University of Chicago Gleacher CenterChicago, IL The most successful law firms have the deepest relationships with their clients. Most often those relationships are based on in-depth feedback programs and are tied to higher client retention and increased profitability. This unique master class is […]

Law firms can benefit greatly by systematically and consistently seeking client feedback. At the LMA Philadelphia Chapter meeting on February 19, 2009, Laura Meherg and Nancy Mangan from Wicker Park Group outlined many of those benefits plus tips for creating and sustaining a successful client feedback initiative in law firms. Benefits One of the most important […]

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