Client feedback is a crucial component of effective law firm marketing programmes.
Though many large firms do client satisfaction surveys or have business development teams that have detailed follow up strategies in place, many small firms don’t do so because of cost constraints or an apparent lack of time.
It is impossible, however, to create effective marketing and communication plans if you don’t know what people think of you or how they would like to be treated.
Lawyers may have a gut feel about what they think clients want, but more often than not, clients / prospects will not tell you what they really think and will simply go to another law firm.
If used effectively, social media can help lawyers not only get more feedback but provide insights that clients might not normally give if given directly to lawyers.
For example, imagine having a LinkedIn profile and asking members of a relevant group to describe what they don’t like about a specific type of charging mechanism, and how they would ideally like to pay for legal services.
Setting aside any concerns about opening up a can of worms regarding different types of payment, this could actually help law firms build better relationships with clients if they show willingness to get paid based on agreed results / milestones instead of simple hourly rates.
With regulation and increased competition in the legal services market, this is just one example where law firms can use social media to get people to share their experiences or views with each other, which sometimes results in more honest opinions amongst readers.
If you have a blog, you could use specific posts to introduce a survey and get responses from readers about the services you provide, ideal experiences they would like to get from you or other lawyers, and simply act as an orchestra conductor where you help facilitate exchanges between various participants.
Surveys not only show clients that you care enough to ask them their opinion, but show you are open to getting honest feedback. This can help build trust and helps prospects / clients get over the opinion that all you do is simply give feedback they don’t understand and charge the earth.
Law firms that have effective client feedback surveys always get ideas they can action which they might not have otherwise thought of. This is the reason why lawyers should use social media to help get customer feedback and, more importantly, get people to share their views with each other.
Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook – whatever social media channel used, lawyers could point readers to specific surveys but they may find it more useful to point them to specific questions that will get multiple responses. LinkedIn is great for this – and if lawyers then start taking some of the points on board and schange the way they operate, they might find themselves with new opportunities that they would have otherwise missed.