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Lawyers often resist the idea of conducting client satisfaction surveys: They don’t believe people will be honest unless they have complete anonymity, and they don’t believe clients will take the time to complete the survey.
It’s true, many will not complete the survey, but some will. And right now, you probably aren’t collecting any valuable information from your clients. Even worse, the feedback you’re getting is probably in the form of a negative online review.
If you’re not conducting a satisfaction survey upon closing each client’s case, you should be. Surveys are an excellent tool for improving customer service and increasing positive online reviews. They can bring to light your firm’s weaknesses and strengths and help identify problem employees. They also give you the opportunity to:
Surveys don’t have to take a lot of time. Typically, clients must sign paperwork to close the file. Simply add five minutes to this appointment to hand them the survey and explain why their feedback is so valuable. If anonymity is a concern, send them home with the survey and a self-addressed stamped envelope.
These five questions get to the root of issues quickly — and the client can finish the survey in less than 10 minutes. (Click here to download a sample one-page exit survey.)
Make it easy to answer the questions by providing a scale (i.e., “Circle one: 1 2 3 4 5”) or “Yes/No” options. Also, be sure to leave room for feedback below each question, so that clients can elaborate on their level of satisfaction — space for approximately 200 words should suffice.
You can add more questions, but I’ve found that the more questions you ask, the less likely people are to complete the survey.
There are many ways to administer client surveys: face-to-face, by personal email message or via an email marketing platform like MailChimp, or with a reputation management platform like Grade.us, which funnels people to online review sites.
An email marketing app allows you to create satisfaction surveys directly in the email message and then send them to your clients en masse, in segmented groups or individually.
With a reputation management platform, you can add a survey landing page or widget to your firm website, as well as send survey reminder emails. The survey will ask your clients to rate their overall satisfaction by clicking on a 1 to 5 satisfaction scale, a thumbs up or down icon, or a smiley or frowning face. To be routed to a review page, your client will have to click a 4 or 5, the thumbs up, or one of the two happiest-looking faces. If they click 1 to 3, or select thumbs down or one of the three least happy faces, a screen will pop up to offer them a feedback box and divert them away from the review sites. The feedback box is intended to prevent them from posting a negative review and to help you find out what their issue is so you can satisfy their concern.
Obviously, the goal here is to prevent people from leaving negative reviews and to push the satisfied people directly to your Google+ or Avvo page to leave positive reviews. Unfortunately, this does not always work. I do not recommend using automated systems for your initial client satisfaction survey for the following reasons:
With a little research, you will learn there are many ways to conduct client satisfaction surveys and encourage positive online reviews. This hybrid model takes advantage of the strengths of each method while mitigating potential negative effects:
Follow this protocol and you will increase your positive online reviews and decrease the likelihood of negative ones.
Ray Gross is founder and CEO of Attorney Internet Marketing LLC. For more than five years, he has successfully helped increase the revenue of his clients by organizing joint marketing programs and coaching in the art of proper lead intake.
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