In 2005, Robert Half Legal published its Future Law Office report on “Client Service: Challenges and Strategies.” The report mentions on page 6 ways to measure client satisfaction. Surveys are one, face-to-face interviews are another, and “joint checklist” are a third.
A joint checklist is a “customized checklist of value indicators. It should contain specific service points — for example, lawyer availability, project management approaches and billing structure.” The law department works with the law firm to define how the firm’s performance in each of the areas will be measured.
Although it requires upfront work, a mutual understanding as to what constitutes good performance sounds sensible for major relationships or matters. Like Service Level Agreements (SLA) between a law department and its clients, a value-indicator checklist clarifies terms, measures, and expectations (See my post of March 23, 2008: SLAs.)