Has your law firm been seeing fewer new clients recently?
It’s a tough and competitive world for law firms. Standing out among the competition is critical, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s all about keeping up with modern customer demands.
Knowing where the problems lie is the first step. Luckily, there are some quick and immediate ways to improve.
67% of law firms found business development to be more difficult in 2021.—Lexis-Nexis
Start with SEO
To break out from the pack, law firms first need to win the business development game. One oft-quoted statistic says 57% of consumers search on their own for lawyers. Since most searching these days happens on the internet, that’s where you need to start, too.
If you do search engine optimization (SEO) well — for example, you optimize your website with SEO in mind — you’ll rank above the competition when clients use Google or Bing to find a lawyer.
To ensure your website appears first on search engine listings, think about how potential customers search for your business. They’re more likely to search for “lawyers in my area” than “law firm.” Or they’ll search for a specific legal topic, such as “bankruptcy.”
Update your site content with terms a client would use. This is not the place to write like an attorney.
Search engines also love blogs or news articles, so having a good content strategy that features current event commentaries will help you stand apart. Offering insights — especially important to those looking for representation — means you’ll get preferential search engine treatment.
Similarly, consider search engine marketing (SEM) — the paid side of the search engine coin. SEM is a great way to promote your business; you pay for ads that appear at the top of search engine results pages. However, it can become expensive if your competitors are trying to rank for the same terms you are.
It goes without saying that you should respond immediately to any prospective client inquiry. It’s an important part of ensuring you land the customers who find you online.
A recent benchmark study showed that 42% of the time, law firms failed to respond to leads within three days. If you wait that long to get back to your potential customer, they’ve already moved on.
One of the best ways to win new business is to keep in touch with your existing clients. With 59% of consumers using referrals to find lawyers, you can’t afford to fall asleep at that wheel.
Automation is the best way to do this: It means you don’t have to send messages yourself, and instead can focus on running your business.
Set Up Automated Reminders
One frequently overlooked way to endear yourself to current clients is using automated reminders. Creating this open and personal line of communication not only helps you notify clients of upcoming appointments, it delivers on expected levels of customer service.
And while text reminders help you reduce no-shows and improve your bottom line, they also enhance brand recall.
If you’re putting yourself front and center on your clients’ mobile devices, they’ll be more likely to recommend you when talking to friends or family about lawyers or attorneys.
Ask for Reviews
Online reviews are essential for professional service providers. In fact, 90% of law firm customers will base their decision on what reviews say. They are critical elements for legal businesses and law firms, but business development teams often avoid asking for them.
In this case, quantity is quality. Having a lot of reviews gives your law firm credibility. Potential customers are more likely to pick firms with many reviews, even a mix of positive and negative ones. As long as you’re responding to them in time, your firm will benefit from them. This is an important part of your sales cycle.
90% of law firm customers will base their decision on what the reviews say.—Lawmatics.com
No business is perfect, and your customers will feel their voices are being heard. Keep in mind: Potential customers will see this interaction, too. So, put your best foot forward, even if you’re performing damage control.
Setup Multiple Payment Options
In the digital era, providing multiple ways to pay is expected. Your clients want to pay in ways that suit their financial processes, not yours.
Allowing customers to pay you in person and online — say, via ThryvPay® — will show them you’re flexible to their needs. It’s not often a law firm can build a reputation of being customer-service focused, but offering multiple payment options is an easy, pain-free way to do so.
So don’t forget to promote that feature. Showing all the ways you cater to your clients will ensure that whoever lands on your website stays there.
Keep Your Law Firm From Losing Customers
In the end, there are many ways to attract customers to your practice. But landing new clients is just the beginning of the client relationship journey.
Don’t forget that it’s always less expensive to keep an existing customer than acquire a new one. So when you use these ideas in your sales process, make sure to leverage them for your current clients as well.
After all, they are the best marketing you’ll never have to pay for.