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Legal Practice Management

What meaningful, intentional client feedback programs can do for law firms: Podcast

William Josten  Senior Manager, Enterprise Content - Legal, Thomson Reuters Institute

· 5 minute read

William Josten  Senior Manager, Enterprise Content - Legal, Thomson Reuters Institute

· 5 minute read

In the latest Thomson Reuters Institute podcast, we discuss law firms' efforts to proactively seek out their clients’ thoughts and attitudes in a formal client feedback program

Unsurprisingly, much of the past two years has seen law firms focused on the myriad problems with which they have been confronted during the global pandemic. But troublingly, something that has been, perhaps, lost in this focus on internal challenges is at least some of the attention that used to be placed on listening to the voice of the client.

Within the Thomson Reuters Institute, we’ve noticed when speaking to law firm leaders, that most of what they talk about taking up their attention relates to law firm economics, talent recruitment and retention, and the like. This makes us curious: Is this just what is top of mind for firm leaders? Or, has it permeated down into how they interact with their clients? More specifically, how are law firm leaders and their top lawyers seeking out and hearing the voices of their clients?

You can access the latest Thomson Reuters Institute podcast, featuring a discussion with Thomson Reuters’ Lizzy Duffy, here.

Over the past two years or so, lawyers have not been traveling to see their clients nearly as often as they did before the pandemic times. Without the same cadence of in-person meetings and check-ins that would have happened in the past, a key means by which lawyers connect with their clients is diminished. Thus, efforts to truly hear and understand the voice of the client need to be more intentional as law firms must proactively seek out their clients’ thoughts and attitudes. That likely means some sort of formal client feedback program.

But what does a formal program look like? And how does it run?

In the latest podcast available on the Thomson Reuters Institute channel, we invited Elizabeth Duffy, Senior Director of Global Client Services at the Thomson Reuters Institute, to help shed some light on these questions. Duffy leads a team of subject matter experts who are responsible for delivering insights to law firms and legal departments, helping to connect the dots between the data and their business.

Duffy also regularly leads custom research projects including client review and thought leadership programs and presents research results to the management boards and partnerships of Am Law 50 firms.

Elizabeth Duffy of Thomson Reuters

In our podcast, we discuss how prevalent client feedback programs are among law firms, why more firms aren’t employing proactive efforts to engage their clients for frequent feedback, and why feedback even really matters. Duffy also shares with us how a robust and meaningful feedback program can create a competitive advantage for firms, something that is likely to become much more important as the legal markets return to its pre-pandemic existence.

In this old-yet-new-again atmosphere, the legal market has matured with little “net new” demand, but the possibility of a lot of work shifting between firms. In such a market, clients are looking to shift work toward law firms that can consistently deliver good value relative to what clients are being asked to spend.

And how can a law firm understand the value they deliver to the client if they’re not asking the client what they value and how the firm is performing?

As Duffy says in the podcast, there is no bad time to begin an intentional and thoughtful effort at client feedback. Those law firms that already have begun the effort, or those that make the quickest move to do so now — they will be the ones that benefit the most from what they learn.

Episode transcript. 



For more on building a client feedback program within your firm, view the new webinar here.