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Surveys for law departments and the “focusing illusion”

Social science researchers recognize that when you ask people about a feeling – “How satisfied are you with the responsiveness of the law department?” or “To what degree do you feel the law department meets your needs for professional development?” –respondents over-rate their feelings. In large measure, the respondents never give a moment’s thought to the question, and when they do focus on it, they inflate or distort their views, thus the focusing illusion.

To the extent this distortion operates, it undermines the validity of client satisfaction surveys, employee morale surveys and value questionnaires and other instruments that collect feelings and perceptions.

Granted, but as I say, “better to light a candle than curse the darkness,” and surveys at least give us directional illumination.

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2 responses to “Surveys for law departments and the “focusing illusion””

  1. Client Expectations and Satisfaction Surveys

    This post is about customer experience, this time from the vantage point of a client satisfaction survey…specifically law firms client satisfaction surveys. Rees Morrison of Law Department Management asked the question, Does asking clients to assess …

  2. Surveys we have found out should be given to a handful of customers periodically. It is also beneficial to spread out the customer sampling based on industry or some other categorization. The best time to send surveys are when you have done some level of consolidation.
    Once you received the answers you need a panel to objectively analyze the answers based on the client profile. The changes need to be identified, made and a follow up survey needs to be made to the same sampling of clients obviating the changes.