Free Law Firm Marketing Tips: How to Handle Enquiries in a Digital Age?

Free Law Firm Marketing Tips: How to Handle Enquiries in a Digital Age?

Written By: Ben Trott, Marketing Lawyers
Edition: July 2019

Law firm enquiry handling tips for the digital client.

We live in a fast paced, digital world where clients want communication and answers on demand. We’ve seen the rise in live chat features for websites and fast responses which require a whole new level of attention.

Clients expect you to do business on their terms and the legal market can be an alien industry to them. Often legal services are a distress or considered purchase and there’s been an erosion in brand loyalty with the advent of Google.

Inbound enquiries are the lifeblood of most law firms and with the increase in potential clients searching online, the ability to secure that new client call is hard with the pressing demands of the job, time away from the office and with a number of other easily accessible competitors available at the click of a link.

The potential client might get in touch via social media, email, live chat or phone and you must be able to handle that first contact appropriately and in the fastest way possible.

The chances of converting a new enquiry decreases rapidly over time. Firms should aim to respond to leads ideally within 5 mins if they are to stand the maximum chance of securing the prospective client. This is a difficult task, but one that can be mastered with sufficient planning and training.

The problem, however, is that this doesn’t always happen. In busy law firms, the day job takes over and front of house teams are also busy. It’s not unusual for firms to have a 24-hour response time and often firms can’t afford dedicated new enquiries teams just handling leads.

It’s also important that whoever answers the new enquiries at your firm knows exactly what areas of law you do and where geographically you can take on clients. It’s also wise to do some commerciality training to understand the difference between a potential client that can wait for a call back and one which needs a partner on the phone now!

Two out of three potential clients looking for legal advice will pick up the phone, rather than send an email about their problem. This means that you’ll need your phone lines to be open as long as possible to capture the most amount of leads.

Even when leads are handled at super speed, it’s worth thinking about who in the team is picking them up and whether they have had any sales training on converting enquiries. Think about what you are saying on the phone to persuade clients to choose your firm over your competitors? If your prices are higher for example, what sets your service apart for the difference in fees?

Another consideration is your phone plan, most firms have a receptionist dealing with initial enquiries, but what happens when they are already on a call? Does the phone trip to the accounts department or bounce around the office? Once a call gets through, how often does the individual get to speak to a solicitor or will they get a call back? Are those times tracked and held centrally so you can see how many enquiries you receive and how many converted?

Following up enquiries is just as important as handling the initial enquiry. Have a think about whether you follow up via text, call, voicemail, email or by letter? How many times do you try to reach them before you decide it’s a dead end?

Most firms tend to call back and leave a voicemail, alongside sending one follow up email, but results show that often seven touch points are required before a sale or sign up takes place.

Understanding how potential clients interact with your law firm is crucial in driving increasing client instructions and client retention. This includes mapping potential client interactions across all your touch points. If you can map your process, then you should be able to find areas to improve on. A mystery shop is always a good eye opener to speed of response and current client service, as is recording your initial client calls!

Do you think you could be losing valuable work?

Ben Trott is producing a series of free marketing tips for law firms for the Nottinghamshire Law Society. Ben is the MD of Law Firm Marketing Agency, Marketing Lawyers and also sits on the Nottinghamshire Law Society council.