There are times when people have a traumatic experience and realize they need legal help. When they’ve decided to contact an attorney, they don’t want to have to wait for a response from a law firm. Potential clients want to talk with someone as soon as possible, and they will often sign with the law firm that provides them with the most immediate response. If a client is forced to wait, they will likely move on to the next lawyer.
Too many firms lose clients because they were not available or responsive enough when an opportunity arose. The following are five things your practice can do to ensure that it is not losing clients.
If it takes you more than 5 minutes to respond, you’re too slow.
Responding quickly to a potential client is an expectation for all law firms. A survey conducted by the marketing firm Ifbyphone showed that 59 percent of consumers have a higher chance of paying for a product or service if the phone is answered in less than one minute. Making yourself or someone on your team available at all times to respond to potential clients will reduce the possibility that they will contact another firm.
Are your attorneys speaking to potential clients?
Too many firms today are delegating the responsibility of qualifying and signing new clients to legal assistants or investigators. By allowing potential clients to speak with an attorney, a practice can demonstrate that customer service is one of its highest priorities. The intake departments at larger firms tend to operate like detached machines, so make yourself available and give your potential clients such a great first impression that they want to sign with your firm.
Is your website proactive?
Law firms that are successful at marketing are always finding new ways to make themselves stand out from the competition. You have very limited time to capture the attention of visitors to your website, so how do you get them to contact you?
Many law firms now use live chat services not only because they give potential clients another method for reaching out but also because most chat software offers a proactive invitation to initiate contact. A website using live chat is 20 to 30 percent more likely to obtain the contact information of an individual than one without chat, making such services a valuable tool for personal injury and mass tort firms.
Are you closed at 5 p.m.?
Because car wrecks and injuries occur at all hours of the day, your firm needs a system in place to make itself available around the clock to potential clients. There are many third-party services available to answer your phones after hours so your potential clients don’t have to leave a message on a machine. If you have an after-hours answering service in place, be sure your online business listings show the firm is open 24 hours a day. People will be less likely to call or fill out a form if they think you are unavailable.
Are you talking to the right potential clients?
While it is important to be available and make a great first impression, it is equally critical that you are spending your time talking to qualified potential clients. The last thing you want to do is spend 15 minutes with an uninjured party who is at fault, when you could be talking with someone who truly needs your help to fight an insurance company after they’ve been injured.
Use “contact us” forms and free e-book downloads to get your potential clients to give you brief but helpful information about their potential case. In addition, using a live chat service will allow you to read through a chat transcript and make a more informed decision on the quality of a potential client.
There are many services and proven systems out there that you can choose to implement to make your firm more available and responsive. The legal industry will continue to get tougher, so focus on how you and your firm can stay ahead and keep your potential clients from going to your competitors.
We’ve helped more than 500 law firms over the last 10 years, and we’ve seen the pitfalls and successes that can make or break growing firms. Call us today at (808) 495-0231 for more information about how we can grow your firm.