Let’s look at the data
What is most important to clients when hiring their attorney? Take a look at the below chart.
According to a recent Legal trends Report from Clio, a whopping 67% of surveyed clients said a quick response to their inquiry was the most important factor in hiring their lawyer.
But this should hardly be surprising. The public today is used to instant gratification, and should customers have to wait, they will likely seek out other options. Unfortunately, lawyers aren’t known for responsiveness.
Most attorneys already spend 6 hours per day on non-billable tasks, according to data from Clio’s report. Business development is essential but also means frequent interruptions throughout the day. Pre-screening clients can also take time, requiring any number of questions:
- Is the case right for your practice?
- Does the matter have merit?
- Has the client retained prior attorneys in the same matter?
- What are the client’s expectations?
- Are there time restraints?
Speed is the key to client acquisition
It’s never easy, but it is possible to set up systems to ensure prospects are engaged quickly (or quicker). Here are some methods used by attorneys at practices big and small.
Intake Forms: Online intake forms are great because they engage the prospect while you gather key information about their circumstance. Taken in the aggregate, this pre-screening saves a ton of time in lead processing overall and can help improve your response time.
While plenty of forms are available and can easily be embedded into your website, we recommend JotForm.
Auto-Response Emails: The quickest way to lose a lead is radio silence after an inquiry has been made. Automated form emails fix this issue and allow attorneys to share frequently requested information about costs and processes.
Virtual Reception, On-Demand: No automated tool will beat a real person in prospect acquisition. But understandably, the expense of hiring staff can be prohibitive. The good news is that a Virtual Legal Assistant brings the same value at a far cheaper rate.
Instead of paying for downtime, benefits, office space and the rest, Virtual Assistants work remotely and only when you need them. For many small firms, this is a game-changer.
A Virtual Assistant can staff your inbox, phone line and your website’s chat feature (or social media). Follow-ups can be made with prescreening questions to determine fit, schedule consultations, and onboard clients into your practice.
Putting it all together
Lead conversion is about speed. And in an era where the competition is only a click away, doing whatever you can to increase communication will yield big results to prospect acquisition.