5 ways to never miss a client lead

The legal services market has never been more competitive, and the proliferation of new technology is overhauling the very essence of how law firms deliver value and importantly, how clients buy legal services.

Customer service is a hot topic with more and more firms investing in this area. Today’s clients are more informed and price sensitive than ever and demand much faster, more transparent and more human experiences.

Research shows that 86% of customers[1] would pay up to 25% more for a better customer service experience and by 2020, customer service will have overtaken product and price as a key differentiator[2].   There is a huge opportunity for the sector here. An opportunity that continues to prove challenging. Research shows that law firms miss up to 15%[3] of their calls and consider live chat a relatively new tool, even though it’s used widely used in other service-led sectors.

Here are five ways to make sure law firms don’t miss out on new client leads.

1. Understand clients’ needs and expectations

In a 24/7 age, clients do not feel the constraints of traditional 9-5 office hours and will research and reach-out to potential legal partners at all times of day and night. Empowered and with much less loyalty than before, clients are knowledgeable about what they want, how much they’ll pay and what they expect in return. Those firms who are taking advantage of advances in technology will undoubtedly prosper.  Recognising that clients’ needs are paramount and paying attention to their preferred channels of communication is an important first step to capture all leads.

2. Be responsive

Most legal practices underestimate the amount of calls they miss by almost a third[4] and wrongly believe that voicemail will provide the back-up they need during busy times.  In fact, 69%[5] of callers choose to hang up rather than leave a voicemail message.  Missed calls cost business – particularly as one in ten calls to a law firm is a brand new enquiry. What’s the value of a new enquiry to your firm?

3. Maintain the front of house experience

Reception and front-of-house teams work incredibly hard. They typically handle the switchboard and greet clients – two tasks that can be at odds with each other. Consider the value of outsourcing switchboard handling, even if just for peak times, to free up the front of house team to maintain the special and personal face-to-face welcome that gives visiting clients a very positive first experience.  This also avoids calls being diverted to employees in other departments, which can compromise professionalism and customer care.

4. Make the website work harder

All firms know the necessity of a website but is it being used to its full potential.  Most website visitors leave within just 10-20 seconds[6], which means there’s a very small window to convert them from looking to enquiring.   A well-timed live chat pop-up can stimulate a question that may otherwise never be asked and engage a potential new client – 41%[7] of the live chats we handle for law firms are new business enquiries.   It offers unexpected benefits too.  Enquirers via live chat tend to offer more personal information than through any other marketing channel.  They discuss their circumstances openly and share their concerns with ease. It seems that the act of typing rather than talking helps prospects to be themselves, which presents a significant opportunity to improve customer understanding and nurture prospects through the sales cycle.

5. Train staff

Excellent customer care comes as a result of prioritising it and defining what customer excellence means and looks like. While this is vital for front of house staff and call-handlers, it should also be engrained across the practice and at every level, to ensure that the customer journey is not just consistent, but excellent, every time.

Author:  James Candlin is the business development manager for legal at Moneypenny.

Moneypenny established its dedicated legal telephone answering team in 2008 and now provides call-answering and live chat technology to thousands of legal practices internationally. To find out more visit www.moneypenny.com

[1] Temkin Group research as quoted in Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/danielnewman/2018/04/10/want-better-customer-experience-combine-crm-and-customer-feedback/#18b68ce43fbb

[2] Forbes research: https://www.forbes.com/sites/danielnewman/2018/04/10/want-better-customer-experience-combine-crm-and-customer-feedback/#18b68ce43fbb

[3] Moneypenny’s legal intelligence insights 2018

[4] Moneypenny’s legal intelligence insights 2018

[5] Moneypenny’s legal intelligence insights 2018

[6] Figures from the Nielsen Norman Group

[7] Moneypenny’s legal intelligence insights 2018

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