Tackling Smiling Assassins – Clients not bothered enough to complain to you … but they do to everyone else?

Beware the “Smiling assassins” i.e. the dissatisfied client who says nothing but tells all his/her work colleagues, business network and family what a tough time they had dealing with your lawyers.  They are a very dangerous animal. 

A report from the Legal Services Consumer Panel on recent research suggests that 44% of people dissatisfied with legal services don’t complain, compared with just 27% in the services sector overall.  As with any statistics, the numbers can be challenged and interpreted in different ways; but however you read this, it is a significant number.

The good news in the survey is that overall levels of satisfaction with legal services are holding steady, at 79%. Levels of public trust are also up, with 43% of the public trusting lawyers to tell the truth, up from 42% last year. In this league lawyers rank behind doctors and teachers but marginally ahead of accountants and well ahead of bankers.

The challenge here is to find ways to talk to or get feedback from the silent clients “in the middle”.   Not just the clients prepared to sing your praises and those keen to make a complaint but those who are suffering in silence … and you don’t know that you should be doing something about it.  Until you do, they will keep damaging your reputation.

We can help.