Let’s face the facts: running a law firm keeps you incredibly busy. In reality, the greatest issue for most law firms is lack of time – there simply isn’t enough time to focus on service that dazzles.
You do it all – client intake, client support, marketing, even administrative duties. Keeping the firm running smoothly, it seems like there’s little time to focus on anything else. Yet, it’s important to treat clients like they’re valuable to your firm or you run the risk of losing them to your competition.
Believe it or not, your current and potential clients are longing for more. According to Salesforce’s second edition State of the Connected Customer report, 67 percent of customers say that their standard for good experiences are higher than ever. 80 percent of customers say that the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services.
When your main business is the welfare of your clients, how can you ignore customer service altogether? The short answer – you can’t. Providing customer service that makes every single client feel like they are your best customer isn’t that hard to achieve. With some simple actions and a bit of planning, you can create a service that exceeds your competitors’.
Make Your Service
There are a few easy (and affordable) things you can do to surpass your client’s expectations and give your business the competitive advantage. Here are some areas to assess when you’re ready to give your service a boost.
Word of Mouth is your BREAD & BUTTER
Sure, you can put a ton of money toward online and print ads, and you will likely see a return. But the real value for a law firm comes from that beautiful and completely free word of mouth marketing. It is one, true way to get the most qualified and targeted client. However, no one will recommend you to their friends and family if they got shoddy service from you. Next to providing a great product or service, making your clients happy should be your top priority. It shows that you value them and the trust they have placed in you. Remember: they chose you. Make them feel it was worth it.
of consumers believe suggestions from friends & family more than advertising.
of customers won’t take action until they read online reviews about a company.
Include testimonials on your website. Since the vast majority of consumers online read reviews prior to making a purchase, the concept of hosting those trusted reviews on-site – as close to your purchase funnel as possible – makes a lot of sense, allowing you to promote your practice without being too “salesy”.
Ask current clients to review your practice on social media and third party review sites like Google My Business. Don’t forget to respond to all reviews – good or bad. Every review factors into discoverability. According to BrightLocal, review ratings are the biggest driver of clicks in local search engine result pages (SERP’s)
Create a YouTube channel with client testimonials. Video content is not only more likely to get shared on social media than other types of media, but according to Think with Google, there were 50,000+ years of review YouTube videos watched on mobile in the past two years. That applies to product reviews, technically, but follow the logic and you’ll see the impact video makes.
We understand you’ve seen it all and heard it all; it can be frustrating to listen to the same troubled stories over and over again. What the client doesn’t think about is all the clients you’ve had before; they see their problem as their own. It’s your job to make your clients feel like they are the only ones in the world you are working with at the moment.
Take the time to really listen to your client’s concerns with an empathetic ear. That empathy will help you to create a more personalized experience and place you on a level playing field with your customer. Clients want to do business with people who are proactive, kind and helpful.
The Secret Sauce:
Whether it be email, social media or the phone, communication with your customers is everything. From setting meetings to sending out reminders for appointments to chatting about details, it is essential that you are available to your clients when they need you.
Core Channels For
Be sure that you’re present where your prospective and current clients are, when they need you – whether they have a quick question, some kind of concern they’d like to discuss, or hit an urgent or unexpected issue. Key areas where you want to be present are:
- Social Media
- Text Messaging
- Live Chat
Clients still consider email a go-to option for communicating with businesses. If you automatically respond to your email messages, just make sure to include some language that indicates the amount of time that it will take to receive a personalized response (24-48 hours, for example).
PROFILES & MESSAGING
Having a presence on social media is integral for most small and local businesses. As a law practice, you should aim to at least have a presence on Facebook and Google My Business. Not only will this boost local visibility on the platforms and allow customers to contact you and leave reviews, but will also influence search rankings. Some businesses opt to use a chatbot on social. Implementing a chatbot can funnel potential clients over to your website lead form with minimal effort on your part.
For many consumers, it’s quickest and easiest to reach service providers via text messaging. A large majority of U.S. consumers say receiving a text is the fastest way to reach them for important updates, and even more (91%) of consumers who have opted in to receive business-related text messages find them “somewhat” or “very useful”.
Having an option on your website to initiate a live chat can be very effective for small and local businesses. You can easily implement a chatbot on your site to answer frequently asked questions, but it’s even better if you have a live agent to answer messages through your site. Live chat has a consumer satisfaction rate of 92%
The Importance Of The
PHONE IN CUSTOMER SERVICE
Even more important than any other channel of communication are the phone calls to your practice. Not only is the phone a means of communicating with current clients, but it tends to be the first impression potential clients will have of your business. Unfortunately, many law firms don’t have the proper support team in-house to handle important phone calls at all hours – whether they’re in court, or receiving calls at night, over the weekend, or on holidays – so the phone may become more of an annoyance, rather than the golden touchpoint that it is. Here are a few stats about the phone that may shock you…
of customers hang up if they don’t receive a live person when they call.
of customers won’t call back after an unanswered call to a business.
of people will go elsewhere after a bad customer service experience.
The Decision To Hire a 24/7 ANSWERING SERVICE
Every call matters when you’re running a local business, so hiring a 24/7 live answering service is an excellent option. Since there is no need to hire an in-house receptionist, costs are dramatically reduced. You get all of the same friendliness and professionalism of a receptionist for a fraction of the price. An added bonus: answering services tend to be open all day, every day. Even on holidays. Your receptionist can’t do that.
Your law practice can be successful beyond your imagination if you incorporate some very basic customer service fundamentals. Creating an experience that’s word-of-mouth worthy takes some work on your part; listening, empathy and being accessible go a long way with clients. The more effort you put into it, the more return you’ll see.
MAKE EVERY CALL COUNT
With PATLive’s friendly & professional virtual receptionists
U.S. based live receptionists.
calls answered every year, on average within 4 rings or less.
trusted experience partnering with thousands of businesses.
Salesforce, Second Edition State of the Connected Consumer
Nielsen, Global Trust in Advertising and Brand Messages Report
My Testimonial Engine, How Reviews Affect Purchasing Decisions and SEO
Neil Patel, Call Tracking Analytics: The Ultimate Guide to Tracking Offline Calls With Online Data
American Express, Global Customer Service Barometer
Zendesk, Zendesk Benchmark Report
BrightLocal, Local Services Ads Click Study
Think with Google, Product Review Video Watch Time Statistics
Salesforce, Mobile Behavior Report