The legal services industry is a multibillion-dollar one that doesn't show any sign of slowing down. People will always need legal counsel regardless of the economic climate, which is why it's such a great industry to be in. Yet since there are so many people practicing law, it can be a competitive marketplace.
It's critical that you stand out as a law firm by appealing to potential clients with modern solutions. Rather than settling for a generic legal brand and operating your firm with old-fashioned default methods, now is the moment to modernize your practice.
There has never been a better time to commit to delivering an outstanding experience for your clients and shining in comparison to the competition. In 2021, the most successful firms know that the key to establishing yourself is using the right technology tools. With the right law firm client intake software, you can increase your visibility, streamline and automate lengthy tasks in a fraction of the time, and expand your firm.
If you have a lower lead-to-client conversion rate than you'd like to see, then chances are it's time to start examining where you can make improvements. Usually, the first place to look is your client intake process. The client intake process is the most critical part of your client’s experience that should not be overlooked.
Sadly, this is usually where most struggling law firms get it wrong. From the minute a lead first contacts a firm, they should be tracked carefully so that no opportunity gets missed. Yet, without a systematic client intake process in place with the help of technology, it's impossible to manually track every incoming contact.
By knowing where every single lead stands and what actions need to be taken next, you'll have a birds eye view of your practice and total control over your customers' experience.
Where Many Law Firms Get it Wrong
Slow Response Time
One of the biggest complaints that legal clients have about their lawyers is a lack of communication. Recent studies show that the majority of law firms have an alarmingly low response rate. As many as 60% of law firms contacted in a study didn’t respond to emails, and nearly 35% didn't even answer the phone. As a prospective client shopping around for lawyers, chances are you're not going to be very impressed by a law firm that doesn't even bother answering the phone.
From a lawyer's point of view, it can get extremely challenging to get back to every single client right away, particularly if you're running a solo practice and you don't have the luxury of a front desk receptionist. With all the administrative tasks that it takes to run a practice, plus attending hearings, and conducting consultations, following up with leads can often get put on the back burner when you've got paying clients to attend to.
Lack of a Systematic Intake Process
A systematic intake process is the only way to handle all of the incoming inquiries plus everything else that you've got going on at your law firm. The most successful firms rely on technology to follow up with their clients for them. Regardless of whether a lead contacts your law firm by phone, a legal client intake form, or sending an email, a quick follow-up is critical. The faster that you can reply to incoming inquiries, the more chances you have of converting a lead to a client, which is why client intake software is key.
Poor First Impressions
So, how fast should you realistically get back to clients to make a good impression? As soon as possible! Think of it this way— every minute that you take to get back to a prospect is a minute lost that they could be turning to a competing firm. With the right attorney intake software, you can send a follow-up email immediately without having to do a thing. By setting up automated email workflows for law firms, you can trigger certain emails to go out to the right person at the right time. By setting the tone from the beginning that you're responsive and value lead's business, you’ll make a great impression.
Lack of Organization
In the absence of a systematic client intake process, many law firms lose track of their leads. Because they rely on archaic systems like pen and paper to write down incoming contact information, there's no way to know whether someone's been followed up with or not. The only way to eliminate the risk of leads getting lost is to optimize your law firm with a law firm CRM. That way, a lead’s information is captured immediately and entered into a database.
From that point on, your leads will be meticulously tracked and ensuring that no opportunities get missed.
Lack of Effective Marketing
Law school teaches you everything you need to know about being a lawyer, except one of the most important aspects of it— finding clients! Many lawyers are practicing law, but when it comes to thinking like a CEO, they're lost. Even though you're technically trained to be a lawyer, the only way to stand out to clients is to start thinking like a business person. You are a lawyer and a salesperson.
A strong marketing strategy is a critical part of finding and retaining clients if you hope to meet with great success. with the help of modern legal tools like marketing automation for law firms and audience segmentation software, the more outreach your marketing efforts will have, and the more revenue you'll produce.
Lost Time on Manual Tasks
It's no secret that lawyers are really busy people. Yet contrary to what most people believe about lawyers, the majority of their workload doesn't even come from what you might expect. In reality, lawyers spend much more time outside the courtroom than they do inside of it. Running a law practice requires a tremendous amount of administrative work that unfortunately takes up most of their workweek. With so many administrative tasks to take care of, it can get difficult to deliver a client-centered experience.
The only way to stand out to your clients is to prioritize them over the administrative work. And since you can't stop doing the important administrative tasks that it takes to run your practice unless you want your practice to fall apart, you have to start adopting a tech-savvy approach to the way you do things. Automation is the only way to complete tedious processes so that you can turn your full attention towards clients and stand out from the competition.
How To Stand Out To Potential Legal Clients
Now that you have a better idea of what not to do let's examine what you should be doing to stand out to potential clients and encourage repeat business.
Know The Best Methods For Attracting Clients
There's a whole sea of potential clients out there just waiting to be found. The trick is knowing how to reach them. Even though traditional marketing methods like newsletters and paper mail may be effective for targeting certain potential clients, it doesn’t target every audience. You may see yourself as a lawyer; the truth is that if you hope to expand your practice, you’ll have to put your marketing hat on.
Attracting and standing out to potential clients is all about using your resources wisely and trying out new methods to increase your outreach. Here are some effective ways to consider trying out.
Regardless of what industry you're in, networking is one of the best tools for bringing in new clients. Networking doesn't always necessarily have to be at networking events either. Sometimes finding new clients is as simple as striking up a conversation with a stranger. Remember, anyone that you come across could be a potential client. Branch out and make conversations in person and online.
Consider joining Facebook groups and networking with other lawyers who are willing to refer clients to you. It's all a numbers game. The more people that you meet, the more opportunities you'll have to make a great impression.
Nowadays, blogging is one of the best ways to attract new clients to your legal web page. Establishing an online presence starts with demonstrating yourself as an authority in your area of practice. Create shareable and buzzworthy blog posts that provide valuable information, and you’ll make Google your friend. The more that people share your content, the more that you'll stand out to potential clients as someone they'd like to hire.
Facebook and Twitter are great places to establish yourself as a law firm. The more followers and engagement that you have on your profile, the more credibility you’ll have. When potential clients see that you have a significant following, then they'll be that much more convinced that you're the right lawyer for them.
It helps to put yourself in a consumer's shoes. When you reach out to a business to find out more information about their services, you expect a response. A timely response is the most effective way to get things started on the right foot right away. Not only are you increasing your chances of a lead converting to a client sooner, but you're building a solid reputation for your law firm.
A few clicks around online review sites like Yelp can quickly reveal law firms that have terrible reputations for not getting back to inquiries. Standing out to potential clients means prioritizing a quick response time so that you don’t give them an opportunity to choose the competition over you.
Use Automation Wisely
Email automation for law firms is one of the best things that you can do for your law firm, without a doubt. However, it's important to be smart about how you use it. A generic automated message to a client that feels impersonal and unrelated to their inquiry isn't going to be as effective. However, by using a robust and intelligent client intake software like Lawmatics, your automated messages will go out in a personalized and tailored style that engages them from one step to the next.
Tools like audience segmentation software break your leads up into groups based on certain demographics of your choice. Since an all-in-one marketing strategy doesn't work for everyone, a tailored approach is the best way to follow up by engaging your potential clients in a way that feels more personal.
Drip email marketing sends scheduled and targeted emails delivered on a schedule of your choice. Drip campaigns streamline your follow-ups and significantly grow your practice thanks to trigger-based features.
Whether you're welcoming a client or sending a happy birthday message to a prior client, workflow automation for law firms keeps leads and clients engaged every step of the way. Personalized and memorable messaging is one of the most powerful tools you have for standing out and wowing prospects.
Prioritize the Consultation
Every stage of the client intake process plays a crucial role in your client's experience. However, the consultation is one of the most defining moments since it's your opportunity to present why you're the best choice for your prospect's case. The better that you can prepare for your consultation, the better of an impression you can make.
Prioritizing the consultation is as simple as thinking ahead and staying organized with the help of technology. One of the biggest frustrations that lawyers have are no-shows. Time last is money lost, particularly in a law firm that offers free consultations. If you block out a period of time and no one shows up, you've lost an important part of your day that you could have used for something else. One of the best ways to ensure that a consultation goes smoothly is by sending out a confirmation.
Legal client intake software will automatically send out a confirmation once a consultation is booked. Not only does your client receive a confirmation email but so do you, ensuring that everyone stays on the same page. In addition to a confirmation email, a reminder email will also go out up to several days before a consultation, significantly reducing the risk of no-shows.
During the consultation, make sure that you ask the right questions so that you know you have all of the most important information you need to get the case started. The better that you can prepare your questions ahead of time, the better of an experience you can deliver and stand out to your client.
Give Your Clients Direct Access To You
The truth is that even though lawyers are busy people, most of the time, their clients are too. Clients don't want to play phone tag anymore than lawyers do, so the more direct access you can give them to you, the better. Connecting with your clients through SMS for law firms builds better relationships with your potential clients and demonstrates responsiveness to their needs and concerns.
Legal client intake software makes it possible to send, receive and manage all of your clients and lead interactions in one single location. Technology makes it possible to never keep leads waiting on a call back from you or waiting for you to email them back. By keeping your potential client connected to you every step of the way, you'll delight and engage them.
Wow your potential clients with a tech-savvy approach by allowing them to self-schedule their appointments. Software like Lawmatics makes it easy for potential clients to schedule or cancel meetings with you by choosing from time slots of your choosing with automated appointment scheduling.
It's as simple as syncing your calendar and sending potential clients a link. From there, they can choose whatever time works for them without having to bother with the hassle of lengthy email back and forth asking which time works best for who— getting the ball rolling even faster in their case.
Identify Your Weak Points
As a law firm, there are always areas to grow in. Law firm data analytics can help you identify any holes in your practice that may lead to client dissatisfaction or low conversion rates. Before the idea of data analytics sends you in a panic, rest assured that it's a lot simpler than it sounds. More and more law firms are turning towards a goal-driven approach that uses data to implement positive changes.
From tracking productivity to where your best potential client sources are coming from, legal reporting software can be your best friend in finding out where you have room to grow. Visual analytics make internal activities at your law firm and fine-tune your processes as needed.
With a visual representation of what your current client intake process looks like, you can make improvements where it counts most.
Set Clear Expectations
One of the best ways to avoid miscommunications and disappointed clients is to set clear expectations from the very beginning. Specify exactly what your client can expect throughout their working relationship with you, from how often you will communicate with them to what your billing system is.
It also asked them what their preferred method of communication is and how often they like to be contacted. A one size fits all approach doesn't work for everyone, so make sure that you establish all of the most important details from the beginning.
You’ll serve potential clients best when you set clear expectations upfront. That way, there's no confusion or room for frustration. Clients will appreciate clearly defined objectives and expectations and be wowed by your transparency.
Deliver Quick Service
The longer that you take to get back to your potential clients, the more time you're giving them to reconsider their decision. The faster that you can get the ball rolling on their case, the more delighted they'll be since chances are they'd like to get their legal concern handled as quickly as possible. One of the best ways to get things running is by using legal document automation. Manually generating important documents like attorney-client agreements can take hours to even days for lawyers to complete. Not only is it time-consuming and tedious, but there's plenty of room for error.
Document automation software uses automated workflows to save hours of time, delivering speedy and error-free results that will wow your potential clients. Since most firms are operating on a traditional system of requiring their clients to print, scan, sign, and send, offering a more modern alternative can earn you significant points. No one wants to have to print, sign, and send documents if they can avoid it, so offering faster solutions like document automation and a client e-signature tool is a fantastic strategy for growing your practice.
Simply choose a template that works best for your law firm and automatically generate whatever you need for your client's case. Lawmatics online text editor app ensures that anything you send is free of errors and ready to review, saving everyone time, and in turn, creating a memorable client experience.
Encourage Online Reviews
Most people looking for legal counsel perform a Google search before anything. If you hope for your law firm to stand out on Google, then you need to make sure that you have a high rating. IF your clients are happy, encourage them to leave reviews for your law firm. The more positive reviews you receive, the more you can start building a positive online reputation for yourself.
Stand Out To Potential Clients and Create an Unforgettable Client Journey With Lawmatics CRM and Client Intake Software
Nowadays, clients expect more than ever. They expect excellence and a client-based business model that gives them the most value for their money. With so many other competing law firms, it’s more important than ever to be seen in a jungle of competition.
By automating tedious processes, using intelligent marketing, and streamlining your client intake process, you’ll wow your potential clients by providing the attention that they deserve.
Are you ready to see how Lawmatics can help you grow your law firm? Sign up for a free product demo today!