I've written several times about client surveys. For example, here and here. The case for conducting client surveys is so compelling that its hard to believe that there are firms that don't do them, let alone that the majority of firms don't do them.
I saw from this post by Dan Hull that his firm does client surveys and that he is thinking about methodology. I also saw from his post that Jim Hassert at Law Firm Business Development has a series of posts about doing satisfaction surveys. They are Part I, Part II and Part III. Jim describes Akin Gump's experience and its manner of doing the surveys. Interesting.
I have been doing client surveys for a decade. With that experience, I believe the lawyers involved in serving the client should not be involved in the satisfaction survey. Familiarity can inhibit candor. I have always believed that the senior members of firm leadership should do the surveys since their presence underscores the importance of the process. In December, however, I occasion to attend a breakfast meeting hosted by BTI Consulting Group. BTI provides data-driven analyses of questions that vex law firm marketers. The data and analysis relating to client surveys can be purchased here. The most interesting things for me where its conclusions that outsiders can more effectively get the client's real feelings and that the number one question for determining client satisfaction is not a ranking on any kind of scale, but instead whether the client has referred the firm to someone else. Referrals are the byproduct of true satisfaction. For me, these two points were food for thought.