The stethoscope was invented by Rene Laennec in 1816. Imagine having one for your legal clients. What must every medical practitioner have felt hearing a human heartbeat up close and personal through a stethoscope for the first time? I’m sure their eyes were wide, and it would have changed the way they practiced medicine forever.
Every legal practice has a heartbeat, too. It beats each time a client has an experience with your service. If there’s a heartbeat to a legal practice, you can be sure it follows the client experience.
So what’s the legal practitioner’s equivalent of the stethoscope? Is it asking “hey how’s it going?” once in a while? Sending them a Google link at the end of a matter asking for a complimentary review?
Most lawyers simply don’t ask. 42% of firms only collect feedback casually, and 37% said they didn’t collect feedback at all (source: Clio).
Would you want a family doctor who never used a stethoscope? I wouldn’t.
But I get it, asking for feedback on an experience you created is a bit scary. What if the client wasn’t perfectly satisfied? Better not ask.
Here are the principles and beliefs we have on the topic:
- Asking a client about their experience is always better than not, because even if the experience wasn’t perfect, just asking alone improves it! It demonstrates you care.
- Trying to develop an exemplary legal service (and a referral pipeline to match)— without solid data on your client experience—is like running a restaurant wearing earplugs and a blindfold. Seriously.
- A professional, structured and anonymized request for feedback is always better than a casual, ad hoc and non-anonymized approach. If you want the stock “sure, everything’s great” answer, then ask them casually, face-to-face (or via direct email). Most people would rather lie to your face than provide you uncomfortable, genuinely honest feedback. And the uncomfortable stuff is precisely what your practice needs to hear.
- Google reviews from the client you scored the big win for don’t help you build a better legal service. You want to build a better legal service? Show me the data. The real, quantified, rigorously collected client data that can truly act as a compass for your critical service development decisions, year over year.
If any of this has you thinking you want to start hearing the heartbeat of your own legal practice, we’ve got the tool for you. In less than 10 minutes you’ll have your stethoscope on and be a better legal practitioner than you were yesterday.
Just head over to AvvyPro and get started — it’s easy!