by James S. Wilber, Altman Weil, Inc.
Law departments that appreciate the value of client satisfaction understand the importance of obtaining systematic feedback from their clients. The methodological choice typically is between a written or online survey, on the one hand, or in-person meetings and interviews of clients on the other. The former method is easier, quicker, less expensive (in terms of opportunity cost) and provides a broader base of feedback. The latter method allows for a dynamic, iterative discussion where one answer or statement can lead to other important areas of inquiry, and of course, it can help improve relationships since it is done face-to-face. Our experience points to a hybrid approach being best – a survey of a large cross-section of key users of legal services, followed by in-person interviews of executives and top managers.
One advantage of doing an online survey is the ease with which metrics that will help you analyze the results can be generated. There are of course many, many metrics, slices of the data, etc., that can be produced. Set out below is one such example (specifically, a plot done from a metric), which shows a hypothetical company and its divisions and operating units.