Your law firm’s brand and reputation is based on how your clients and the wider market think about your firm. Therefore your firm’s brand is driven by how well and how consistently the firm meets and exceeds people’s expectations.
In part 1 I looked at how you identify the components of your firm’s reputation, and what questions to ask your clients. This introduced the idea of value drivers. It’s a framework to consistently compare the experiences that clients and firms talk about. In this post I’ll continue by looking at:
- What to look for in your feedback responses
- How to use the resulting insights to strengthen your firm’s reputation and drive more revenues
The key to understanding client experience and expectations is to analyse their responses to open questions. Multiple choice questions restrict answers the answers people can give. Open questions allow people the space to share what’s on their mind.
Of course the more text you have, the harder it becomes to manually search for insights. That’s where the value driver framework comes in.
What to look for in client feedback responses
Let’s assume your firm is seeking to differentiate itself in 3 ways. You want your brand standing out for responsiveness, expertise and communication. Start by brainstorming potential words clients may use to express positive and negative experiences.
So for responsiveness you might have speedy, straight away, delayed, hold ups etc.
Once you have your lists, you can then go through your text feedback and count the number of instances of each word. Obviously there are a wide variety of words that are relevant. But unless you have the benefits of AI to help you, I would stick to the 3-5 most common words or you’ll be there all day!
Next measure the alignment around each value driver. Count up all the instances of the words used in a positive context and subtract the number used in a negative context.
Turn insights into action – strengthen your firm’s brand and revenues.
So now the insights about your clients’ experiences are flowing. You can see what’s going well and what clients would like improved. You can also see how well your firm’s promises align with client reality.
So here’s 3 suggestions for turning these insights into actions that drive reputations and revenues:
Celebrate the successes
“Feedback” is often seen as a negative, a nice way to say criticism. So start by celebrating examples of where the firm has a strong reputation amongst clients. A rising tide of positive feedback, raises all boats. It reinforcing the right behaviours and increases internal engagement with the feedback process.
Share good practice
Building from the positivity, identify the common themes within the good practice. Is it really down to the skills of individual fee-earners, or are there commonalities? It could be how they communicate, or how they leverage the team around them. Once you’ve found their secret sauce, share how other practice areas could do similar things and get similar reputation boosts.
Identify new leads
Client listening reveals more than current experiences. It can also identify new needs. For example a client may be pondering their response to competitors or new legislation. This is a direct lead.
Now look at all the other firms in that sector. Could they be pondering the same thing? That’s potentially 20 new leads across both clients and prospects, from one client conversation. Client listening can become a flywheel of new BD leads when the insights are:
- Collected centrally
- Analysed quickly
- Shared widely
Does your client listening process strengthen your firm’s brand, reputations and revenues?
Further reading – tips on how to proactively boost your firm’s reputation
Create a stand-out brand experience
Brand alignment – does your promise match reality?
What’s driving your law firm’s reputation?