The short answer, yes, it does. We sat down with Shari Zinman, Director of Client and Lawyer Happiness, to discuss how to extract the most value from your NPS surveys.
Since the early 2000s, the Net Promoter Score (NPS) metric has been used by organizations to help measure customer satisfaction and loyalty. This score provides insights into how likely your customers – and employees – are to help your business grow and how to continue to build trust with both audiences.
But few businesses leverage the full potential of this extremely valuable benchmark. And for service-based organizations, like law firms, whose success is almost entirely built on reputation, this feedback can be incredibly useful.
At Caravel Law, we’re so invested in maintaining an excellent reputation among our clients and employees, that for the last decade, we’ve had a Director of Client Happiness whose role focuses exclusively on ensuring our firm offers exceptional service and fosters a healthy and positive space for clients and lawyers. Shari has been in this role for nearly seven years and uses our NPS strategically to ensure that we do our best to achieve these goals.
In this post, Shari will share our approach to getting the most value from our NPS feedback to keep our clients and team truly happy.
1) Send out the survey when you’ll get the most honest feedback
After doing significant research, we discovered that the best time to send the NPS survey – and when you’ll get the most honest feedback – is at the same time you send your invoice to a client. This approach takes confidence on behalf of the service provider because it forces clients to seriously consider the value exchange and whether they are happy with the service they’ve received, and are now being asked to pay for. This approach was a conscious decision on our part, and we feel that we get more candid feedback as a result.
However, we use the NPS to supplement our feedback process – not replace it. While there is value in sending it out, we still check in with our clients on the phone, over email, via video conference or in-person (in pre-COVID times) to get a complete picture of their experience with our firm.
We also send out the survey frequently, anywhere between two and six months, and sometimes a year after the client has used our service. Many organizations often only send out the survey once – but we know that there is a chance to improve our offering every time we provide services for our clients. We survey our clients often enough to be valuable to us but not too often that it’s an annoyance to them. They can choose not to answer, or opt-out at any time.
2) Use the survey to keep prospective and existing employees, contractors, and internal resources happy
We also use our NPS to ensure our team members feel cared for and have an outlet to provide feedback. It is a practice we explain to our prospective lawyers, so they understand, early on, our commitment to client service.
We send the NPS to our lawyers quarterly and ask them how likely they are to recommend practicing with our firm to a friend or colleague?
There’s a lot of talk about creating a positive workplace culture, but proving your team is genuinely committed to this initiative takes a lot of work. We’re proud of the high retention rate we have with our lawyers, and we know this is largely a result of our approach to asking for feedback – both through the NPS tool and other touchpoints.
With prospective lawyers looking to join our firm, we are very open about our focus on client services. Lawyers will often ask what our NPS numbers are like. We put our money where our mouth is and ensure we have accurate and up-to-date figures to share with them. Our current NPS score is 75%, while the industry average for law firms in 2021 is around 42%.
In fact, our team is growing so quickly (largely, we believe, as a result of these scores) that we’ve had to bring in more support. We’ve recently hired a Client Happiness Specialist to help ensure that every client is receiving the personal care and consideration that we believe is an integral part of the Caravel experience.
3) Have a robust process for following up on feedback
It’s not enough to simply survey your clients and team to get their responses and be done with it. You need to have an actionable plan in place to respond to what is shared in the survey and make meaningful use of the feedback that is collected.
Net Promoter Scores are divided into three sections: Promoters (those who score a 9-10), Passives (those who score a 7-8), and Detractors (those who score a 0-6).
Any one of these responses sparks an internal process. Luckily, we work with an incredible team of lawyers, so following up on constructive feedback is reasonable. Any survey participant is invited to elaborate on their score with a comment. Any Detractor is asked for a follow-up conversation to provide additional information on their scores and so that we may learn from their experiences. I always thank Detractors for giving us the opportunity to improve our offering because they have taken the extra step to help us learn and this continuous growth is paramount to our service-oriented approach.
The survey results come directly to me and the CEO and we receive the feedback in real-time. We then deal with each and every response, following up with the clients and lawyers involved. I make sure the client feels heard and that lawyers have the benefit of hearing feedback (be it positive or negative). I also do my best to find resolutions to any issues that come up. We aim to leverage this feedback as an opportunity for growth.
We also check on whether a client or a lawyer’s score has dropped – say, from a 10 to an 8. While an 8 is not a bad rating, the drop itself may be telling that trouble is on the horizon. We don’t want to rest on our laurels, so we try to figure out why the score changed and what we can do to improve their experience in the future.
4) Reward positive feedback
We have an internal recognition system in place with our lawyers. When we receive excellent feedback, we share that with them and with the wider team. And this feedback isn’t just about the lawyers and the legal services we provide, because we know the client experience is about so much more than that. A client’s experience rating is also based on everything from onboarding to invoicing to client management to our processes and technology. We’re a very technologically-driven law firm, and part of that is down to our desire to ensure every single business process – not just the legal services – is optimized for our clients.
5) Realize the results are not about making more money
The survey question isn’t: ‘Will you use our services again? It’s ‘How likely are you to recommend our services to a friend or colleague?’ and that’s a critical distinction. Some clients only come to us once – and that’s OK. Maybe they only have a singular need for our services. But whether they are one-time or repeat clients, we want their experience to be incredible, and we want them to go back out into the world having had an amazing experience and telling others about it. That’s the real goal.
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The information provided in this article is not intended to be legal advice. Many factors unknown to us may affect the applicability of this content to your particular circumstances.