What do you do with client metrics?
Helen Hamilton-Shaw advises firms on metrics to monitor customer experience
Measuring customer experience is vital, and in my last column I looked at some of the different metrics law firms can use, but ultimately it is what you do with the results that counts.
We’ve just completed the fourth year of the LawNet excellence mark programme, which gives members access to mystery shopping and online benchmarked surveying, to help firms focused on improving their client service. It is great to see how this is driving real performance improvements, with firms achieving a 10 per cent increase on their mystery shopping performance scores compared with the start of the programme.
Involving our members in the ongoing development of our services ensures they remain relevant and valuable, and the client service champions from our firms recently came together to review the excellence mark programme. It is interesting to see the learning shared in these types of sessions, which is often as valuable as the service itself, and there were some common themes:
Paint the vision. When you put measurement techniques in place, it is essential to paint a picture of what great service looks like for your clients and how that translates for fee-earners and the firm. Sharing specific examples can help here, for example, improving awareness of the impact of good communication and keeping clients informed throughout a matter.
Create the right culture. A firm-wide commitment to the process, and to learning from its results, will have a big impact on effective outcomes. If striving for excellence and continual improvement in this area is embedded in the firm’s culture, reflected in its values and objectives, there will be a more open response to feedback.
Reward participation. It’s uncomfortable to be scrutinised and that can cause a barrier to open communication, ongoing learning and improvements. Demonstrating that you understand this, and that you are grateful, can help keep people on board. One firm described thanking everyone on the receiving end of mystery shopper contact with a bottle of champagne.
Share the results. It is vital that results are shared beyond the marketing team or the head of a department being measured, as every report has learning that is valuable across the firm. Our firms approach this in different ways, including creating a client care team with representatives from different departments who review and strategise, sharing back with their own teams; or at an annual staff away-day.
Develop important conversations. Several firms commented that the added value of a measurement programme was the opportunity to start focused conversations with fee earners or teams. In busy firms, where everyone is pushed for time, that extra touch point with the marketing or BD team is a real positive for everyone.
Accentuate the positive. Firms reported that it was important to focus on the positive as well as identifying areas for improvement. Any measurement programme should highlight good performance, share best practice, and create opportunities to congratulate people on doing a great job.
The main take-away was the importance of looking for trends across reports and seeing the bigger picture. For many firms, the next major step will be drilling down to better understand and map the customer journey, and I’ll be looking at this next time.
Helen Hamilton-Shaw is member engagement and strategy director with LawNet