Visibility is a key component of a truly connected legal function. For in-house legal teams to justify resourcing, engage in high-level decision making, and feel fulfilled in their roles, doing a good job behind the scenes isn’t always enough.
Even the most productive in-house legal team will struggle to do themselves justice as a strategic business partner unless they can clearly tell the story of what they do – and to be compelling, that story needs to be backed up by data.
Drawing on The Connected Legal Function framework, we’ve taken a deep dive into one of the most valuable metrics for showcasing the higher value of your in-house legal team, the Net Promoter Score (NPS).
The power of feedback
Whilst many of the most useful legal department metrics use quantitative analysis to shine a light on the daily wins that come out of business-as-usual (BAU) work, there are also more holistic ways to highlight your team’s impact on higher business objectives. These can include, for example, reporting on broader project outcomes and OKRs which have been achieved partly (or fully!) thanks to the work of legal.
However, one of the most useful – and sometimes overlooked – ways to assess legal’s performance is simply to seek feedback from others. Of course, the prospect of receiving judgment can be daunting – but getting the truth from the horse’s mouth can be revealing. As well as confirming what you are doing right, it can also pinpoint valuable opportunities for growth.
Whilst collecting informal feedback from colleagues may provide a glimpse into how the legal department is perceived across various parts of your organization, this information is generally anecdotal, difficult to measure, and unlikely to reflect the full picture. Which is where NPS comes in.
What is Net Promoter Score (NPS)?
NPS is a great way to gain measurable insight into how people really feel about the output of your in-house legal team. Because it translates opinion into a quantifiable metric, NPS offers a clear snapshot of the overall relationship between legal and the rest of the business – healthy or otherwise!
NPS scoring uses a simple survey system to measure the satisfaction levels of other business functions within your organization (for example, finance, sales, or marketing) with the output they are receiving from legal. NPS is measured from a value of 1-10 on the following scale:
- Score of 9-10: positive
- Score of 7-8: neutral
- Score of 0-6: negative
Conducting an NPS survey with the business is easy if your legal workspace includes a legal metrics dashboard functionality. For example, when an internal legal matter is closed, you can request feedback to gauge how satisfied your colleagues are with the service they have received.
Once the survey is complete, an NPS score is calculated by deducting the total number of “detractors” (respondents who gave a score of 6 or below) from the total number of “promoters” (respondents who gave a score of 9 or 10). Over a year, an overall NPS score could range from -100 (if all low scores were received) up to 100 (if all high scores were received).
Using NPS to measure progress
Whilst NPS provides a handy “at a glance” impression of your legal department’s reputation within the wider business at any given moment in time, its real value is unlocked when it is used to track aggregate data, drawing comparisons to measure how well the relationship is progressing over time.
This can be particularly useful when it comes to monitoring the success (or otherwise) of new ways of working with the wider business. By investigating the correlation between new processes and satisfaction levels, you can create benchmarks and begin to drill down into what works – as well as what doesn’t.
The Connected Legal Function framework signposts some examples of how this might look in practice. You might be surprised to discover how much your legal team’s NPS changes in the following scenarios:
- Following the adoption of a self-service contract creation system
- After increasing collaborative engagement with another department on a specific issue or project
- After legal increases its overall focus on connecting with other business functions
The insight-driven potential of NPS doesn’t end there. The responses that you receive can be used as a catalyst for follow-up questions which dig a little deeper into the reasons behind positive or negative feedback – highlighting major wins, zooming in on pain points, and identifying where change is needed.
Using NPS to showcase the value of legal
Once you have accumulated sufficient NPS data, a clear picture should start to emerge of the impact that your legal team is having on business outcomes, alongside measurable evidence of how this is being achieved.
Whether your big wins include leading a successful negotiation for a big transaction, influencing a major strategic decision, or simply showing the ways in which other departments are benefiting from improvements to the way that you deliver advice, this information allows you to showcase your team’s strengths, and celebrate continual improvements which occur over time.
As a legal department metric, NPS should be a key part of your toolbox as you work towards becoming a data informed and connected legal team, helping you to build evidence of the impact that legal brings to your organization. Feedback places valuable information at your fingertips – so spread the word, and don’t keep it to yourself!