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When you walk into a store, are you more encouraged to buy if someone greets you with a smile and a simple “let me know how I can help you”? You might not have even thought about it, but the answer is most likely yes. The truth is customer service and customer experience matters in every business interaction.
The same applies to law firms. If you operate your organization like a business—which you should—then the first contact you have with a potential client is critical. These days that initial communication doesn’t typically take place in an office. Instead, it starts on the Internet.
Since people start by shopping around the “mall” of lawyers on the Web, your website needs to make an impact and engage customers. It’s your storefront. Your greeter is your live chat feature. If you don’t have a chat feature, now’s the time to incorporate one into your website. We know that this communication tool can increase intake conversions up to 30%.
One smart way to approach live chat is to revisit the store model. Don’t think of online communication as an impersonal robot that’s automated to answer generic questions. Treat your online greeter as a human. Give her a name. Task her with asking pointed questions that will not only help pre-qualify a case, but make the person on the other end feel valued and confident in his or her decision to reach out in the first place.
However, a smiling greeter with a friendly message and ability to answers questions is not enough to acquire cases. The key to converting is what your firm does with each individual Internet lead. Remember, every online lead is a potential relationship . Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- If your greeter is offline overnight, how fast do you get in touch the next morning?
- How do you capture enough information without going too far and scaring people off?
- How do you follow up once a lead qualifies—and where do you send customers who are not a fit for the firm?