Voice of the Customer in law firm marketing: What it is and how to capture it
Clients of law firms are uniquely equipped to provide insight into what firms are doing well or may need to improve. This feedback — also known as the Voice of the Customer (VoC) — holds tremendous potential for firms that intentionally collect it and reorient their marketing and legal service offerings to better serve their current and future clients.
According to a study by the Aberdeen Group, firms that conduct VoC research and implement new or better ways to serve their clients saw:
- Their annual revenue grow by 48.8% year-over-year
- A 55% greater client retention rate
- A 23.6% decrease in customer service costs year-over-year
Unfortunately, 70% of law firms don’t ask for client feedback in meaningful or effective ways, leaving this valuable source of insight on the table.
In today’s pay-to-play legal marketing industry, collecting and implementing VoC data can mean the difference between successful and unsuccessful (read: expensive) law firm marketing and operations. VoC research helps you collect important customer feedback so you can improve your marketing, build stronger client experiences, and sign more contracts.
What exactly is Voice of the Customer?
In its simplest form, Voice of the Customer (VoC) is the feedback you receive from client interactions. Whether gleaned from client interviews, engagement surveys, call recordings, or even informal conversation, VoC data helps you visualize your clients’:
- Pain points
- Sales objections
- Experiences working with your firm
Firms can then use this data to inform their marketing strategies and legal service offerings to better serve current clients and attract highly qualified leads in the future.
VoC data comes in two forms: qualitative and quantitative.
Qualitative data addresses the why of a client’s decision, such as why they chose one firm over another or how they felt about a firm’s communication. This type of data is most commonly gathered from interviews and open-ended survey questions.
Quantitative data addresses the what, or specific measurement, of a client’s decisions, such as how likely they are to recommend a firm to a friend or family member. This type of data is gleaned from client engagement surveys or feedback forms.
Gathering both forms of data is critical for accurate and actionable VoC research.
4 ways to capture VoC data for your law firm marketing
Here are four methods your firm can use to collect VoC data:
1. Send out client surveys
Client surveys are a quick, scalable solution to gathering quantitative data. Surveys are good for questions that require binary, short-form answers that quickly highlight common client pain points and specific areas where your firm’s marketing and client experience can improve. They are simple to set up and easy to distribute through email or client portals. Surveys can also act as gateways to the interview process, identifying specific clients who may require a follow-up.
Here are 10 questions your firm can include in a client VoC survey:
- How did you hear about our firm?
- Did you research our firm before contacting us? How so?
- How easy was it to schedule a consultation?
- Were we timely in our communication?
- Do you feel we completely understood your situation during the onboarding process?
- Was all of our staff helpful? If so, how?
- Did we adequately explain our billing and legal fees?
- Did our legal services meet your expectations?
- Would you come back to us for legal help? Why or why not?
- How likely are you to recommend our firm to friends, family, or coworkers?
When creating your own client engagement surveys, include a blend of both quantitative and qualitative questions. Giving clients an opportunity to flesh out their answers can help your firm gain additional insight into their experiences.
2. Interview your clients
The biggest advantage of client interviews is the opportunity they present for open-ended follow-up questions. Whether they're conducted in-person, over the phone, or via video chat, interviewers can go beyond binary yes-no questions and dig deeper into the _whys _behind each answer.
Take, for example, a client who had difficulty with an onboarding process. While a typical survey might reveal a purely quantitative response, such as a yes-no or rating scale answer, an interviewer can probe deeper into the client’s qualitative response. In this case, the client may reveal the reason they found the onboarding process difficult was that they couldn’t keep track of all the required paperwork sent via email.
Here’s a basic framework for how to conduct your own effective VoC research interviews:
1. Establish a core set of open-ended questions. Using the same questions in each of your interviews helps you recognize trends and patterns when analyzing your responses. However, don’t let a set of predetermined questions keep you from digging deeper into a client’s response with additional follow-up questions.
2. Identify your ideal clients. While you want to conduct as many interviews as possible, first focus on interviewing clients who proved to be the best fit for your firm. Gathering VoC data from your ideal clients will show you how you can hone your marketing strategy to attract similar clients in the future.
3. Ask permission to follow up. At the end of the interview, ask permission to follow up with a client with further questions if necessary. Plus, simply sending a thank-you card or letter about how their input has helped your firm shows your attentiveness to their needs and desires and can keep your firm top of mind next time they need legal help.
4. Analyze feedback and take action. If you’ve kept your core interview questions the same throughout each of your interviews, you should notice trends in client responses. The last step of the interview process is to synthesize those trends into actionable steps your firm can take to improve client experiences both now and in the future.
3. Listen to call recordings
Every phone call your firm receives from a client provides a treasure trove of data for your VoC research. These personal, one-on-one conversations contain client questions, commonly spoken keywords and phrases, objections to your sales offers, and other insights you can use to inform and customize your law firm’s marketing and legal services.
To start collecting VoC data, you need to set up a call recording solution for your law firm. You’ll also want to choose software that automatically starts recordings as soon as a call is placed or received. This helps ensure you don’t accidentally forget to record any important calls with your clients. Once you have the call recorded, listen to it again — noting commonly spoken words, phrases, questions, and objections (or use AI to automate this process to save time; more on this below).
4. Keep tabs on your online reviews and social media accounts
One of the quickest ways to capture VoC data is to read and keep track of what your clients say about your firm through online reviews. Websites like Yelp, Google, Avvo, Martindale-Hubbel, Lawyers.com, and Facebook all provide an opportunity for clients to share open, honest feedback about their experience with your firm.
Online reviews also rank as the top research tool for potential clients, making it even more important you pay attention to how your clients perceive your firm so you can identify areas where you can improve the client experience.
Because review platforms act as public forums, firms can show their responsiveness and attentiveness by replying to both positive and negative reviews left by clients.
Here are some tools your firm can use to simplify monitoring your social media and online reviews:
Mention: Mention gives law firms a variety of tools to help track and manage their online reputations. The all-in-one platform allows users to receive notifications whenever their firm or business is mentioned online, including on review sites, in social media posts, and on other websites. Mention also gives users a single platform they can use to respond whenever someone refers to their firm — eliminating the need to switch back and forth between websites and review platforms.
Podium: Podium allows you to manage your firm’s online reputation from a single dashboard and across multiple sites. It also includes automation features that let you send out text messages and emails inviting clients to participate in surveys.
Google Alerts: While Google Alerts may not have the bells and whistles of Mention or Podium, it is a free resource that alerts you whenever your firm (or designated keywords) is mentioned online — on review sites and the internet in general.
Using online reputation management tools can help you and your firm save time and energy as you interact with clients online.
Save time collecting VoC data with CallRail digital solutions
VoC data is critical for any firm’s success, but it also takes time and intentionality to fully implement a VoC program. With CallRail Call Tracking power ups — Conversation Intelligence and Form Tracking — you can save time and simplify the process, which in turn gives your firm an edge in listening to and serving current and potential clients.
CallRail Conversation Intelligence takes your phone interviews and call recordings to the next level by harnessing the power of AI to automatically transcribe and analyze each of your firm’s inbound and outbound phone calls. Once a call is recorded, Conversation Intelligence will automatically create a transcript of the call and identify common keywords, phrases, and questions spoken by your clients and sales team. With Conversation Intelligence, you can see exactly how clients interact with your firm, and the data you collect can act as the groundwork for future content marketing campaigns.
Plus, with an intuitive dashboard, you can examine conversation patterns and filter through all your interactions over any given period of time, giving you a birds-eye view of how clients engage with your law firm.
CallRail Form Tracking transforms ordinary online forms and client experience surveys into valuable marketing tools. With a snippet of Java code, your online forms can reveal each step of your client’s journey — from which keywords brought them to your website to which marketing material they interacted with before clicking the “submit” button.
In terms of your VoC program, this data can help your firm identify which marketing channels and materials drive leads to your firm. With this information, you can make data-driven marketing decisions that cut unnecessary marketing spend and reallocate your resources to higher-performing channels.
Get the infographic: “Pros and cons of the top 7 marketing channels for law firms”
The most client-centric firm will outperform its competitors
Legal marketing is fiercely competitive, but your firm can effectively carve out a portion of the market and attract more leads and clients by positioning itself as more client-centric than your competitors. Conduct client interviews and surveys, look for areas where you can improve your clients’ experiences, use your law firm’s marketing to showcase what makes you different, and start reaping the benefits offered by a healthy Voice of the Customer program.
Discover more about what’s working (and what’s not) with the marketing channels you use for your law firm with our essential guide, “Is my law firm's marketing working?
Or, start your free trial with CallRail to see how our business communication and analytics platform can help you simplify your VoC data collection and save your firm time, energy, and money.