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Client Surveys: A Good Idea for Your Firm?

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By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. on March 25, 2015 7:01 AM

Client satisfaction should be central to any firm. After all, it takes much less energy to retain a client than to develop a new one. Utilizing client surveys can be a great method to gather invaluable data about your firm's performance, identify strengths and shortcomings and find new ways to improve your marketing.

Whether it's a simple online questionnaire, a lost client survey, or a formal focus group, client surveys can help you understand clients' feelings and concerns and make sure you are excelling in the areas that matter most to clients.

Form: Putting Together a Client Survey

Just what form your survey takes will depend on your particular needs and the amount of time and resources you are willing to invest in gathering feedback. Here's some common ways surveys may be conducted:

  • Written Questionnaires -- A document of a few pages with specific questions you want clients to answer. If mailed, be sure to provide return envelopes and postage to ensure higher participation rates.
  • Online Surveys -- The same as above, but paperless! Online questionnaires are generally easier to distribute than paper, as there's no need for postage. Some online survey platforms, like Survey Monkey, have simple analytic tools built in.
  • Telephone Interviews -- For those of us who still answer our phones, telephone interviews can help you gather the same information as any other survey, but with a more personal touch. The big drawback? They take a lot more time to conduct.
  • Face to Face Interviews -- Checking in on clients, both formally and informally, can provide important information. You may chose to hold a mixer with your clients or simply consult with them during normal business.

Substance: What to Ask Your Clients

What you ask will depend on what you want to know. General questions regarding clients' impression of the firm, satisfaction, and suggestions for improvement can be helpful. However, you may want to focus on more specific questions as well. For example, you may focus on lost clients, asking them why they have left, if they have found a replacement, and what they would need to return.

Whatever you do, the information only useful if acted upon, so take your survey answers to heart as and consider what changes might be necessary based on the responses received.

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