In January, one of my posts dealt with setting yearly goals for the legal department (click here to read). One of the goals was sending out a client satisfaction survey, i.e., asking those in the business to weigh in on questions related to their satisfaction with the services provided by Legal. There are a number of reasons why you would want to send out such a survey, primarily to gather helpful data and comments about how the legal department is performing and how it is perceived throughout the organization; the second being to use the survey as a tool to market and promote Legal by reminding people that the department is there, that it provides valuable services to the company, and that you are directly seeking their input into improving the quality and value of the services the legal department provides.
This edition of “Ten Things” will walk you through the process of creating, distributing, and analyzing the results of a client satisfaction survey. Though the discussion deals with in-house counsel sending a survey to their internal business clients, the “why” and “how” apply equally to the relationship between outside/in-house counsel and outside attorneys can easily use this post to create a satisfaction survey to distribute to their in-house counsel clients. If you intend to put out a survey this calendar year, now is the time to get started creating it for distribution after the summer holidays.
One of the first topics covered by this blog was entitled “Your Company Has Just Been Sued: Now What?” which dealt with the ten things you should do when a new lawsuit comes in the door. Equally important is what you should be doing a year or more into the lawsuit. In particular, how have you explained (and reported on) the litigation to your CEO and the Board of Directors? In many cases, neither senior management nor the directors have much, if any, experience with litigation. You can avoid a lot of frustration and second-guessing by taking the time up-front to explain the litigation process to them and providing regular updates thereafter. As you will likely need sign-off from the CEO or Board regarding many decisions including settlement authority, alternative dispute resolution (e.g., mediation), budget, etc., the better informed they are about the litigation – and the litigation process generally – the easier time you will have getting what you need and avoiding second-guessing on key decisions.
This edition of Ten Things will set out key things you need to do in explaining and regularly updating your CEO (including senior management) and the Board of Directors about important litigation. For purposes of this post, I will assume that the litigation is material to your company such that it warrants the attention of the CEO and the Board: (more…)