Recently I finished conducting a survey where I interviewed over 30 successful attorneys across the country about their online marketing efforts. During these conversations I gained significant insight into what digital marketing channels are working the best at getting new clients for law firms.
While most of these calls were very insightful to me, I also found myself answering a few questions for them. As I dove deeper with my questioning I found that many of these attorneys didn’t have a problem with their online marketing, but rather a problem of not converting as many leads as they should have.
While you can’t expect to close 100% of cases, you should be able to close a very high percentage of qualified cases. Lead qualification will vary greatly from firm to firm but once you set your criteria for the minimum requirements to take a case you can work on a higher closing rate.
Firms that are not signing 90% of their qualified cases have room for improvement. Here are some of the top reasons I have seen for close rates being low.
Your phone isn’t answered on time
You probably think this one is a no-brainer, but it was shocking to me how many attorneys told me that they return calls promptly. The fact is that your firm should be set up to answer all calls at all times. If a potential client is looking for you online they’re shopping.
When they pick up the phone they want to talk to someone. If it takes too long or they have to leave a message, you better believe they’re calling someone else next. Lost calls are lost money.
If you don’t have an after hours answering service or overflow procedure in place you need to set one up. We recommend our clients work with Alert Communications.
The Same Goes for Contact Forms & Live Chats
I once worked with an attorney who told me he returned emails within 24 hours because they didn’t seem as urgent to him. That is the wrong mindset to have. If you have a method for collecting customer information you need to be able to respond to that request immediately.
Whether it’s an automated email that links to a calendar booking appointment or just a SMS notification to one of your staff members so they see it right away, you need to get on that. Responding promptly is going to boost your close rate. Even if they respond with a contact form, call them right away.
Your Staff Isn’t Trained Well Enough
Take a critical look at your staff. Have you ever gotten a bad online review because of an interaction the client had with your company? It doesn’t mean that you have the wrong staff members on board, but sometimes it means they need more training. Remember that every interaction someone has with your company is a brand experience.
If your intake staff is not well trained enough to the point where they’re not being helpful or creating a bad customer experience, or they don’t know the answers to common questions, then you’re losing business. Invest in your staff and make sure they get the proper training.
Not Taking Advantage of Online Intake
Let’s say you have a potential client on the phone and the case looks like something you want to take on. Do you have an online intake that you can go through there and then with the client? If not, you’re missing out.
How much time do you waste using investigators, screening cases further, or doing manual paperwork to get a case signed? Did you know you can provide a BETTER customer experience? Making it easier for the potential client will save your firm time, improve your organization, and make a difficult process easy on them. If you’re not converting 90% of your qualified cases, this tip can help you improve your business fast.
Transferring Client to Voicemail
Even if the initial call goes well but the client wants to speak to an attorney you should always avoid transferring the call to voicemail. Voicemail is the lead killer. Ensure you create the proper procedures so that clients are always taken care of on that first touch point. Invest in the backup systems and ensure that you can do everything in your power to avoid this scenario.