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 fourth article in the series. You can find the first article about how to choose clients for feedback here, the second article about the importance of preparation here and the third article about who should interview your clients here.
The only hard and fast rule we have about feedback is: “Don’t ASK unless you are willing to ACT!” It is far more damaging to ask for feedback and not address it than it is to not ask at all. As Nat shared in a recent post, your clients’ feedback is a gift. Your follow-up action is the all-important thank you for that gift.
Turning information to action can be one of the most challenging aspects of the feedback process. Use these 10 tips to create impactful and actionable follow-up strategies based on client opinions and preferences:
- Provide attorneys with specific and detailed suggestions and concrete examples for how to improve, enhance or correct the relationship or add value.
- Develop four to ten good follow-up initiatives. Don’t overwhelm.
- Involve the attorneys and/or full client service team in developing the follow-up plan. Include support staff whenever possible. They often interact with the client as much as if not more than the partners.
- Facilitate discussion to identify other follow-up ideas.
- Define who, what, when and how. Prioritize actions. Establish specific timelines and deadlines.
- Start with the easy ideas first and then build on that momentum.
- Reinforce benefits to the firm and the attorney/team.
- Personalize positive feedback. De-personalize negative feedback.
- Address any problems immediately.
- Seek volunteers to take responsibility for implementation. Don’t just assign tasks.
As the team creates follow-up actions, use the following questions to guide those internal brainstorming sessions:
- What could you do to make the contact’s job easier?
- What could you do that would make the contact look good to his/her boss?
- What are other firms/lawyers doing well for this client?
- How could you add value for the client while expanding your contacts?
- How can your firm work in a manner that matches how the contact does business?
- What can you do that demonstrates you appreciate this contact and the trust he/she has placed in you?