“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 avoid client interviews goes on and on. Obviously, none of these statements are actually reasons to not do client feedback interviews. They are excuses.
In a recent roundtable discussion with a group of marketing partners from around the country, I was asked a different version of this very question: How do we overcome the obstacles we face in trying to get a client feedback interview program started?
Every firm is different, but the short answer is as follows:
There will always be naysayers to any law firm initiative. Ignore those naysayers. At every firm we have ever worked with, there are enthusiastic groups of lawyers who understand that in a competitive world investing time with a client to understand that client’s business needs, specific challenges, how to add value to the relationship and how to improve the service is essential. It is not only a positive experience for both the law firm and the client but leads to the one thing that matters most: greater client loyalty.
There is not a single business in the country that doesn’t care about what its client thinks. Clients will make the time to talk to you because they know that the more you understand their needs, the better you will be able to help them accomplish their legal and business goals.
If need be, call the launch of a client feedback interview program a “Pilot Program.” Once the effort begins to pay off, market the success of the program, and there will be demand for more client interviews.
And that partner that says, “You are not talking to my client” will be the last partner in the firm to truly understand what matters most from the client’s point of view, not the lawyer’s point of view.