Turning prospects into cases is probably the most important job performed at your firm. No amount of skill or successful cases will make a difference if you do not have clients walking through your door. Unfortunately, attorneys often overlook the importance of their conversion techniques and may not even know what they should do to convert leads. This article takes a look at two of the most popular methods of intake, live chat services, and phone calls.
Live Chat Services
Live chat services have greatly increased in popularity as online research has become a primary resource for people seeking an attorney. These services are available at any time of day or night when someone is scanning your website. A trained operator engages your website visitor, eliciting information so you can respond to their inquiries as soon as you are available. The live chat option can be of huge benefit to law firms for the following reasons:
- Fulfills the need for instant gratification and privacy: Consumers want results right away, 24 hours a day. Even though the legal process takes time and cases can take weeks or even months to work through, prospective clients want to get started as soon as possible. Especially if you practice in a time-sensitive area of law, such as criminal defense or personal injury, giving a potential client immediate answers can hook a lead for good. Live Chat services also allow a consumer who is unable to call the law firm during business hours — for example, maybe they can’t call from their workplace — to still reach out to the firm in a private, timely manner.
- Allows for a more efficient intake: The instantaneous collection of potential client contact information and details about their issues saves you time spent tracking down this information from the voicemails or emails you receive.
- Improves your conversion rate: When used properly, a live chat service can catch browsers while they are on your site and convince them to establish a relationship with you. Timing is important in the legal market, and live chat ensures you are showing up for the potential client when they need help the most.
The telephone is the tried and true method for consumers contacting an attorney. Legal matters are often highly personal in nature, so some prospective clients may feel more comfortable talking to someone directly.
Having a dedicated phone number is important for your law firm’s image as it indicates legitimacy. According to a Google survey conducted by Ipsos, 47% of mobile searchers say that if a business does not have a phone number associated with their search results, they will be more likely to explore other businesses. The same survey states that 70% of mobile searchers use click to call and that calls are an important option when searching.
The Bottom Line
Phone calls are the traditional method law firms use for lead intake, but consumers today want options. The introduction of the smartphone has made it easier for people to perform web searches and communicate immediately with a business either online or by phone. Attorneys offering prospects the option to both call or chat can be sure that they are not missing the opportunity to convert prospects into clients. Live chat does not replace phone calls, but rather helps to augment them and generate more leads for your law firm. Ultimately, as an attorney, you want to ensure that you are gathering leads from as many sources as possible.