Resonance Partnership’s blog, commenting on my post of Nov. 21, 2005, asked, “Is Mr. Morrison suggesting that attorneys shouldn’t ask their clients for feedback for fear that they may have to live up to their client’s expectations? Or that by asking for feedback it might be implied that attorneys upon receiving feedback might feel obligated to improve their performance? Surely not.”
Indeed, surely not. In-house legal departments should find out what their clients think of them and should expect that by doing so their clients will want even better service from them.
The blogger makes the excellent point that “The meaning of the words in a satisfaction survey has to be exactly what the operational definition of the words specifies. … Ask a question about responsiveness and unless you have defined responsiveness, or operationalized it, to mean something specific to the client, such as returned phone calls, then collecting “feelings” will be useless information because you will not know how to improve responsiveness….or as Mr. Morrison notes, the validity will be undermined.”
Later, “Operationalization means specifying the exact operations that defines the marketing promise. A client satisfaction survey is research.” Law departments should state as realistically as possible what they think it means to be “responsive,” or “timely,” or “clear communicators.”