When you ask your clients to assess your department, ask them not only to evaluate performance on a set of attributes but also to rank those attributes by importance. The more important the attribute – such as timeliness, understanding of the law, responsiveness – the more the clients expect good performance from the law department.
With the data, create an “index of client satisfaction.” The resulting chart should show the results of dividing the expectations of clients – from their importance rankings on each attribute – by the reality – attribute performance ratings. In short, expectations divided by reality, which is client satisfaction.
With 1.0 being the absolute best, where the delivered performance fully met the expectations of the client, your index will decline to around 0.2, where the performance of the law department fell far short of what clients felt was important and expected. By the way, low expectations (importance) fully met shows up in the index as high satisfaction. Focus on the gap between the highest ranking attributes and their evaluation ratings.