Over the past decade, the way in which consumers shop for goods and services has been subject to some drastic changes. And, with the rise of online shopping, online reviews, and informational business websites, legal services are certainly no exception. But the legal industry is one that is struggling to keep up with the changing client expectations. Many of the main things that clients want are yet to be incorporated in the majority of law firms.
While finding lawyers through online searches is becoming more commonplace, reports found that today, many clients still find legal professionals through word-of-mouth marketing. To attract more clients and differentiate your law firm from the rest of the competition in 2020, it’s crucial to understand how today’s consumers shop for and purchase services, along with the main things that most clients are looking for when they hire a solicitor.
Trust and Validation
It should come as no surprise to the majority of legal professionals that their potential clients are looking for somebody that they can place their trust in. After all, many people hire an attorney during some very tough and trying times in their lives and they want to know that they are working with somebody who is honest and trustworthy. Most clients will use referrals from trusted sources when deciding which law firm to hire, but what happens if a client does not know anybody who can refer them to you, a good lawyer? Most clients will then go online, and positive reviews from strangers can have a significant impact on their hiring decisions. Be sure to make it possible for satisfied clients to leave reviews of your firm on sites like Google, Yelp, Trustpilot, and Facebook. A law firm management consultant can help you manage all aspects of your online marketing to ensure that client expectations are met and positive reviews are encouraged.
Today, customers are no longer picking up the phone and making a call as much as they used to, but many law firms have failed to realize this. And younger consumers, in particular, don’t always enjoy using their phones to actually make calls and would prefer to communicate with law firms via email, text, or webchat. Data suggests that over 50% of consumers between the ages of 21 and 50 would prefer web or mobile communication rather than phone calls. For law firms, this means that only listing a phone number on your website isn’t going to be enough.
Thankfully, integrating web chat through a messaging client like Facebook Messenger into your website could do the trick. Your potential clients want as many options as possible when it comes to how they get in touch with your firm. Good consultants for law firms like Legal Back Office can partner with your firm to help you get better results when attracting younger clients. They offer a range of business consulting and law firm consulting services to help you differentiate your firm from the rest and put together a strategic plan to attract the right clients.
Finally, it’s important to understand that modern consumers do not like to be kept waiting. And by failing to be responsive to a request from a potential client, you’re putting your law firm in a risky position. It could only take a few minutes for your potential client to find another law firm that’s willing to answer them straight away. Today, consumers who submit a form, send an email, or send an online message using a chat app expect a response within minutes rather than hours – and certainly not days.
Studies have found that law firms that respond to inquiries within the first five minutes are more likely to convert that potential client into a paying client compared to law firms that take an hour to respond. The good news is that this doesn’t mean that you have to have somebody hovering over the computer or sat by the phone all day long. Many law firms have decided to outsource initial client responses to contact centers or use chatbot services to provide answers to initial questions and point the client in the right direction based on their request.
Today, online shopping and technological advances have significantly changed the way that consumers look for legal services. And with many law firms struggling to keep up with these changes, your own law firm has a chance to really consider what the modern consumer is looking for and stand out from the crowd by providing this to them.
This is especially important if your law firm wants to attract a younger crowd of clients as these are the most likely to expect law firms to have an online presence, offer various online methods of communication and respond to inquiries quickly. By understanding what the modern legal client is looking for and providing it, you can differentiate your firm from the competition.