In a previous article I wrote about the benefits of developing a solid evidence base to support strategic change.
Many firms skimp on this activity because it can take a considerable amount of time and effort both to gather the data, to compile it and then report on it. Much of that effort is usually manual. The output typically provides only limited capability to compare different sets of results.
- Data capture is largely manual. It requires considerable time and the scope for error is high. It can be hard to capture both qualitative and quantitative data without manual intervention in each case. Again, time taken and potential for errors are concerns.
- Reporting can lack granularity and sophistication both in terms of the presentation of data and the nature and flexibility of the reports.
- Feedback is invisible to the wider firm. Fee earner teams are often unaware of the feedback given by their clients and aggregated data is not often shared to all levels of the firm
- Clients are not followed up with. When positive feedback is not follow up on the firm misses out on opportunities. When negative feedback is not followed up on, the firm may lose clients.
Streamlining the process
At Meridian West, we have developed an online portal (known as Compass – or more correctly The Compass Performance Dashboard) that streamlines both the data capture and reporting processes. This is now used by a number of large professional firms, ambitious to improve their client service.
For them, Compass is the online portal to their entire feedback programme. It provides all of the insight on the process, findings, analysis and action planning that they need to make strategic decisions at a client, team and firm-wide level.
Compass brings together the insight from qualitative relationship reviews, telephone interviews and quantitative online surveys into one place. It makes feedback programmes for small firms with a small team, and feedback for global firms with multinational teams manageable and valuable.
A tailored approach
Meridian West can provide comprehensive research methods and questionnaires in a tailored manner, regardless of whether you need a quick, proven off-the-shelf online survey, or entirely bespoke mixed methodology approach with in-depth key account reviews and post-matter feedback.
Participants of the research can be taken straight from your CRM system and streamed into the most appropriate research approach based on factors that include fees billed or seniority of participant. Once the research has been conducted, the data (both quantitative and qualitative) is automatically uploaded to Compass on a daily basis.
Using the dashboard functionality, one Manager can therefore have a complete overview of the feedback and of the progress of the programme at any given time. Analysis can be performed automatically against a number of bespoke KPIs. Changes in the pattern of results can be monitored over time, with updates triggered effectively in real time.
The dashboard functionality also allows the whole firm, including fee earners, support functions and senior management to understand the feedback quickly, and in a way that is appropriate and useful for them.
Integrate data from different sources
Feedback from employees (and also financial data and analytics) can be captured via the same portal. All of the data can be compiled and the results used both to inform training and also in the context of appraisals. Client views can support strategy and product development.
Ensuring no one falls through the net
Compass includes sophisticated follow-up and action-planning functionality. All new pieces of feedback generate alerts that inform important stakeholders of opportunities and areas of dissatisfaction. Compass is also the epicentre of the follow up process, providing comprehensive action planning tools that are centrally administrated and overseen.
Automatic alerts, triggered when follow up has taken place or been missed, ensures that no clients falls through the net.
New, creative applications for Compass
In a future Report, we shall explore the benefits of a streamlined feedback process in more depth. We shall consider some case studies that help to demonstrate creative uses of the Compass platform.
One law firm client, for example, is considering the use of Compass as a way to capture both the internal and client perspectives of post-matter reviews. This will serve to meet the new SRA requirement for post-matter reflection and also to provide a library of highly relevant credentials to support future pitches.