Technology is an essential part of any modern practicing attorney’s toolkit. In Tad’s Tech Corner, join me as I discuss how to best utilize technology– both from a device and software standpoint– during your daily lawyering tasks and during trial. Discussions, as always, are welcome in the comments section below.
— Tad Thomas
Whether you’re a partner at a firm or a solo practitioner, the business and money a law firm generates come down to attracting clients. If you’re looking to generate more clients or you want to target better clients for what your firm does, it’s important to understand how to successfully and regularly convert leads into clients.
The Importance of the Intake Process
When it comes to converting a lead into a client, first impressions are paramount. If someone has a poor interaction with a law firm out the gate, they’re going to move on and find a firm they’re comfortable with.
Do what you can to automate the intake process. When potential clients reach out to your firm, they’re likely looking for answers to specific questions. Time is a serious factor. That’s why you want to have the appropriate intake staff around to provide potential clients with the information they need to make a decision about seeking legal representation from your firm. It’s important to address as many questions as possible as early as possible so the client feels comfortable moving forward with the process.
It’s also important to follow up shortly after the initial intake. This will ensure the client sees how willing you are to help them, and they will be more inclined to proceed with legal action knowing they have your support.
The Dos and Don’ts of Phone Call Leads
While internet leads and referrals are a reliable source of potential clients, many leads are still found via phone calls. Because of that, it’s important to be on top of all calls. To incorporate the best practices, consider the following:
- Train one person to answer the phone. Ensure the person can handle calls professionally, respond to questions correctly, and make a good first impression.
- State the name of the firm when answering a phone call.
- Respond to any questions or concerns with compassion. The person answering the phone at your law firm should acknowledge the caller’s pain and express concern for their situation. This will help build a strong connection.
- Make sure to get adequate and accurate contact information. This could include a telephone number, an email address, or both. Ask the caller for the best times and methods for contacting them.
- If a client has to be put on hold, get their permission and keep the hold time to a minimum. Only ask to call the person back if it’s absolutely necessary.
- The person answering the phone should be prepared to promote the firm in a positive light. For example, the caller may ask why they should hire the firm, so it’s important to convey experience, care, and success.
- Make sure voicemails are checked frequently and missed calls are returned on the same business day.
When it comes to converting leads into clients, some of the biggest issues can happen through the law firm’s receptionist. When training, encourage your employees to avoid the following mistakes:
- Not getting contact information from a possible lead
- Answering the phone without identifying the name of the law firm
- Misspelling the firm’s website address to a caller
- Putting a caller on hold for too long
- Not having a good answer to the question the caller is asking
Optimizing Your Website to Increase Conversion Rates
After a person is injured, they will likely consult Google when initially looking for legal representation. Whether they’re accessing your site from a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop, it’s important your website is optimized for viewing and that visitors can easily access the information they need. If you’ve never given much thought to the importance of your firm’s website, digital marketing companies that specialize in law firms, like Legal InSites, can help.
Ultimately, you want website visitors to call your law firm. Because of that, it’s crucial to make sure any call-to-actions on your site include your phone number. You should also have an easily accessible contact form. You may also want to consider a chatbot. This allows users to engage in a virtual conversation to get answers to common questions 24/7. To get visitors to stay on your site, you want engaging, dynamic content. This could be videos, like those produced by Gavl Video, infographics, and more.
In addition to the features you have to attract clients, it’s also important that your website’s speed is up to par. The longer it takes for your page to load, the more likely it is that a user will leave. Make sure your content addresses common concerns people could have about pursuing an injury claim, as well as dedicated pages for practice areas you represent.
When you plan ahead and having a comprehensive understanding of what you need to do to convert leads into clients, your firm will have a regular, steady caseload. While the tips above are relevant for right now, it’s important to stay abreast of industry changes and adapt to technology and client needs as necessary.