Telephone Interview Case Study
An Intellectual Property firm gathers feedback on client satisfaction and new growth opportunities from a large number of its clients quickly.
A national IP boutique with a client mix that includes academic institutions, start-up companies, Fortune 500 and international companies engaged Wicker Park Group to conduct a series of interviews with more than 50 clients over a six-month period. The firm’s goals included:
- Identifying competitive threats
- Detecting areas for improvement
- Discovering new growth opportunities
- Finding new ways to provide added value
- Demonstrating client commitment
The firm wanted a fast turnaround on the feedback results. Also, the firm typically only had one or two contacts at each client, and those contacts usually held positions lower than the general counsel level, or in some instances there is no legal department. For those reasons and others, Wicker Park Group and the firm deemed a phone interview strategy as the optimum approach to gaining feedback.
After talking through priorities and goals, Wicker Park Group and the firm decided to conduct a series of 30-minute telephone interviews. Together, they put together a list of the best candidates for interviews based in part on strategic importance and fee generation. Before conducting the interviews, Wicker Park Group:
- Created a model questionnaire to be used in each interview
- Requested specific background information and goals for each client in addition to the model questionnaire
- Talked with the relationship partner and others to learn the background of the relationship and any salient profile information
Wicker Park Group then scheduled and conducted the interviews, quickly providing the firm with an edited report of each conversation organized by question. The firm then met with billing attorneys to review the interviews and discuss specific issues that required follow-up action.
As a result of the interviews, the firm received not just the interview recaps but also immediate, practical solutions and longer-term follow-up strategies for improving the client relationships on a case-by-case basis. The firm gained a much better understanding of its market position relative to its competitors.
After completion of the interviews, the firm put together a consolidated report that used common themes from the conversations to identify:
- What their clients most value
- Where the firm excels in its service
- Specific areas where it needs to improve service
- Client attitudes towards its fees versus those of the competition
Ultimately, the firm put in place a list of best practices based on concrete client feedback that provided a roadmap for transforming the firm’s clients into loyal advocates.