We believe that our commitment to client service differentiates Thompson Hine in the marketplace. We recognize the importance of making client service our focus in everything we do. We have worked hard to make sure that everyone in our firm—lawyers and staff—understands the importance of superior client service.
In 2003, we conducted our first independent Client Satisfaction Survey, asking nearly 70 of our most important clients what we do well and in what areas we could improve. To learn more about what our clients value in their law firms, we hosted representatives of several of our key clients at a special meeting with lawyers in our firm from many of our offices and practice groups. The group talked about client service, sharing the best (and worst) of what they have seen in the market. We further developed a list of steps our firm could take to improve our performance.
We developed the core principles identified during the meeting into a draft set of client service pledge points and shared the draft with everyone in our firm, from lawyers to paralegals to secretaries and staff members. Each individual at Thompson Hine had the opportunity to provide input, share ideas and ask questions, helping us refine what has become our Client Service Pledge.
Our Client Service Pledge was formally adopted in 2006 and introduced within our firm. Before communicating outside our firm, we wanted to make sure that everyone at Thompson Hine understood the Pledge and that all of our people had the tools necessary to provide the level of service that it encompasses. We invested time in training all employees and developing new processes and procedures to help us deliver on each point outlined in the Pledge. We also began developing metrics to measure our progress.
Client service drives everything we do at Thompson Hine and is a core element of our culture. The subject of client service is a regular agenda item at firm meetings. Our Client Service Pledge is used as a basis for developing client plans. We conduct client satisfaction surveys on a regular basis and use the results to evaluate our efforts and seek ways to improve. The Pledge is a component of the orientation and integration process for new lawyers and employees and ongoing training for all personnel, and is integral in our performance evaluation system. We feature client service as a topic in firm communications such as our weekly newsletter and updates from our managing partner, and we recognize those who provide exceptional service.
As we plan for the future, our Client Service Pledge remains the focus of our efforts. We will look for ways to improve, and we will challenge our people to be innovative and creative as we build our service culture and set the standard for client service in the legal marketplace.