Global Client Feedback Case Study
A global firm reaches out to clients around the world over a multi-year period for its first formal feedback program.
A global firm with a significant presence in Asia, Europe and the U.S. had existing teams in place for key clients but had never conducted a formal feedback program. The firm needed a deeper understanding of how its attorneys and client teams should serve the clients individually, by office and globally in partnership with one another, as well as a unified methodology for gaining feedback from its most valued clients. Other considerations included:
- The firm wanted to reach many contacts at some of its client companies
- Many of those interviewees are high-level executives outside of the legal department including CEOs, CFOs and other top executives in business units and human resources
- The clients are based around the world in multiple locations
- The global director of client services and a senior partner of the firm overseeing client relationships both wanted to personally participate in the interviews whenever possible
After reviewing the parameters, the firm and Wicker Park Group proceeded with a plan to conduct a series of formal, in-person interviews with Wicker Park Group leading the interview process and two specifically trained firm leaders participating. In total, the firm chose 45 client teams for interviews. The key steps to implementing the strategy were:
- Prioritizing which clients should be interviewed over a multi-year timeframe
- Meeting with attorneys and conducting research to better understand the history, the challenges and the particular opportunities for each client
- Bringing together knowledge from groups in different geographic locations and practices to better understand cross-selling opportunities
- Training the senior director and the senior partner to participate in the interviews
- Setting up methods to understand the firm’s goals and measure its progress in reaching those goals
Wicker Park Group and the firm then scheduled the in-person interviews and began travels to each location in Asia, Europe and the U.S. Traditional reports were submitted for each round of interviews as well as consolidated reports with follow-up recommendations.
The interviews are taking place over a five-year period, and the firm and Wicker Park Group will return after three years to certain clients who experience leadership changes, relationship partner moves, mergers or other significant changes.
Wicker Park Group participated in client debriefing meetings and presented results to both partners’ retreats and firm-wide meetings. The immediate results from the interviews included:
- Knowledge of new cross-selling opportunities
- Being added to the global panel of preferred firms for one client
- Formalized succession planning and increased visibility of “next generation” partners were introduced into some relationships
- Recognition and appreciation of the firm’s efforts
- The addition of several project management professionals into the relationship
- Discovery of several client concerns that the firm addressed quickly and successfully
- Pricing professionals were elevated into formal client team roles and given direct contact to firm’s client to align client budget goals with innovative pricing models
While the process is ongoing, the firm is receiving praise from its clients for the efforts, learning much more specifically the areas where it can improve global connectivity and putting in place practical steps that will help it achieve exceptional client service in every client relationship.