Are your firm’s marketing efforts consistently failing to produce monetary results? Does it seem like no matter what you do to entice prospective clients in your advertising, no matter how well a new campaign seems to be going, it almost never ends up in you earning new business?
Before you put down your credit card, and spend thousands of dollars on perfecting that next great marketing campaign for your law practice, there’s something you’re going to want to take a closer look at. You see, it’s important to remember that marketing legal services is just one part of the new client development process, and if you fail to do well at the part that comes after, you’re likely to see a large portion of your advertising dollars go to waste.
Why Are My Marketing Efforts Coming Up Short?
In order to really understand why your law office is struggling to bring on new clients, you’ll need to put yourself in the shoes of the consumers you’re trying to reach. Chances are your target customer has a legal issue that requires urgent attention from a lawyer. Imagine that customer comes across one of your ads online. They find the ad to be impressive, and end up following it to your website. After reading some content on your site, they feel ready to give your firm a chance. And since they have no time to waste, they call into your firm right away.
And when they call … they get sent to voicemail.
Many of you are probably thinking this is no big deal. The customer will leave a message, and you’ll call them back at your next available moment. This mindset may have been fine for previous decades, but unfortunately for attorneys, modern day consumers are not patient creatures. In the digital age, everyone expects immediate solutions to their problems, and the thought of engaging with an automated machine and waiting around for a call back during their time of crisis is not likely to excite customers. Think of it this way, if you were being charged with a crime or were dealing with pressing financial issues, would you wait around for a lawyer to eventually return your message, or would you move on to calling one of the other thousands of attorneys listed online?
The point here is that if you send your exciting new prospects to voicemail, they are likely to become exciting new prospects for a competing firm. Instead of your advertising dollars resulting in a new customer, and possibly repeat business for your firm, you’ll end up having wasted your money on nothing. And it will be all because you failed to answer a phone call.
So What’s The Real Problem?
Lawyers too often take the new leads they generate for granted, or are so disorganized with answering phone calls for their office, that new leads frequently pass their firm by without them even realizing it.
How can you determine if your practice has a lead capturing problem? Take a look at your office’s number of missed calls and voicemail messages, and figure out how many of those callers you were actually able to get in touch with after the fact. Make a spreadsheet if need be, and compile data for a few weeks or few months. If the number of missed callers your firm never made contact with is high, shoring up your office’s call handling needs to become a top priority. What’s the point of putting valuable funds and time into generating a marketing campaign, if a large portion of your new leads won’t even have a chance to be captured?
How Do I Keep New Leads From Slipping Away?
One way or another, you’re going to need to make sure that all of your calls are answered by a live trained receptionist. That is truly the only way to ensure that your firms doesn’t miss out on any new lead opportunities. Hiring additional phone answering staff is one way to address this, but that can get expensive in a hurry. Not to mention finding and training the right people can take considerable time. Turning to a live phone answering service is a generally more affordable choice, but you’ll need to make sure you’re using the right one.
For lawyers, especially those that receive a lot of overnight and weekend calls, hiring an answering service that works 24/7 is a must! For example, attorneys that handle DUIs better have some kind of phone answering staff ready in the middle of the night, because that’s when they are likely to receive a significant number of calls from prospective clients in need.
Answering Legal has become a top phone answering service choice for lawyers around the United States. The service remains active 24/7 (holidays included), and only answers calls on behalf of legal professionals. Having this type of business, allows Answering Legal to put its team of receptionists through specialized training programs, and have them become experts in fielding legal phone calls. They can even perform legal intakes on first-time callers to your firm.
If once you address the lead capturing portion of your client development process, your client list remains stagnant, it may be your marketing after all that’s the problem. We don’t deny that marketing is an area where many lawyers struggle, or that marketing a law firm in the digital age is more challenging than ever. But, before you go down the road of reaching out for expert help, and spending thousands of dollars, make sure your firm is ready to handle new leads on the phone. Otherwise you’re just asking for disappointment.