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January 26, 2006

Polling The Real Jury-Part 4: Just Who Should Conduct Client Satisfaction Interviews, Anyway?

No puns intended--but I'm going to stay neutral in this. But would anyone care to join the fray in the multi-blog discussion of just who should conduct client satisfaction interviews? There's an interesting, important and I think relatively difficult discussion going on between Jim Hassett, Michelle Golden, Patrick Lamb and me. I'm just listening at this point. My instinct for years has been that only 3rd party neutrals should conduct them. Now I am not so sure. Shouldn't a senior member of the firm be present, even at the risk of dampening candor?

At this point, there seems to at least be an agreement that client/customer interviews are critical for any size firm. So roughly put, the issues are: (1) who should conduct the interviews--a 3rd party "neutral" (Michelle), a senior partner (Jim) or a hybrid of sorts (Patrick); and (2) what, if anything, should be the purpose of the interview beyond asking for feedback and improving the service rendered to the customer. This is an important practice management issue if you assume, as I do, that in the future client interviews or polling by professional service firms will be the rule--and not the exception--for firms to be competitive.

Posted by JD Hull at January 26, 2006 07:37 PM

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