Firms need to use every tool in their arsenal to retain clients. It’s not easy – potential clients understand that hiring a lawyer is a big commitment, and each will have their own way of deciding which is the right law firm for them.
That means attorneys looking to retain more clients have to make sure their firm performs well across a multitude of factors. Clio’s 2021 Legal Trends survey highlighted some of the most common factors influencing lawyer choice, including response times, social proof, pricing options, perceived value, availability, and remote working options.
Fortunately, there are hundreds of legal technology solutions ready to solve these issues. A legal answering service can improve responsiveness and give your firm 24/7 availability, video conferencing lets you take consultations remote, and payment software can help to allay clients’ pricing concerns. But every new software you take on can rob time from your day. Every minute spent switching between platforms and cross-checking information slows down your firm.
That’s why part of choosing the right legal tech for your firm is considering integrations. Integrated software helps you to do more in less time. With a full suite of tools that speak to each other and sync data, you’ll always have access to the correct information, and be able to provide a smooth client experience.
The Marketing Stage
The goal of legal marketing is to get people to reach out. The person might not even realize they had a legal case, or they may not have known who to talk to about it. When they do reach out and get in touch with your firm, that’s the first sign you’re doing something right. But now, you need to prove your commitment to them, and their case. That means responding quickly.
This means more than just answering the phone when they call. You need to be available to answer live chat, web forms, and Facebook inquiries. That means whether your potential clients see a Facebook ad, ask a question on your chat widget, or phone your office, they reach a professional receptionist who provides consistent information – and responds before your competitors. In fact, most answering services have expanded their services to cover all these platforms.
Clients have come to expect firms to be available at all times across multiple different platforms – and a slow response from your practice can lose you potentially excellent clients.
Email marketing is still a great way to reach out to people – both to re-engage potential new clients who haven’t made their decision and to build your reputation. Integrations make email campaigns much easier to personalize. When you have well-labeled contacts in your CRM, you can create segmented audience lists. By sending more targeted emails, you should see important KPIs like your open rate and click rate increase.
The Intake Stage
Your intake process should serve two purposes. Your primary goal is to acquire the relevant data to decide whether that person could be a good fit for your firm. But your secondary goal should be making a great impression on the potential client. After all, if your intake process doesn’t build trust in you, they could still approach a competitor.
Many CRMs have an intake form that can be used by your intake team. This means all your contact and intake data ends up in one place, with consistent, accurate records for every client. This gives you access to their contact details and history, which makes every call with a client smooth and professional. Integrating your receptionist with your CRM will allow any call messages or new contacts to be pushed to your CRM, leaving all the data at your fingertips.
After a great intake, the next step is to secure their commitment to your firm and book them for a first consultation. To maximize efficiency, your receptionist should have access to your consult calendar slots, so they can schedule times that suit you and the client. If you charge for consultations, integrate your calendar and online payment system to let your prospects pay when they book.
The Retention Stage
Now you come to retention. At this stage, the prospect is almost ready to become your client – they just need reassurance that their decision is the right one. You can do this by reaffirming your commitment to them. By keeping communication open for any questions or concerns, and removing obstacles to their signing, you will give them good reasons to feel confident in their choice and retain you.
Your calendar should be able to automate reminders to reduce no-shows, and you can also add the option of booking either an in-person meeting or a video consultation. Many clients prefer video, as it eliminates the need to travel, and can fit around their own busy days. In fact, according to Clio’s Legal Trend Report, in 2021, 58% of legal clients ranked video conferencing as a preferred form of initial meeting. Your calendar software can even be automated to send your video meeting link out at a specified time before the consultation.
Document management can be integrated into your CRM, so your intake team can see what has been sent and when. This is ideal when it comes time to sign a contract; you won’t have to send everything personally. Electronic signatures are so much more convenient.
So yes, legal tech is powerful, but only when it is paired with the right processes and right integrations. That means when you’re selecting the tech for your practice, you should check whether they can integrate with each other. One weak link can disrupt your retention process and lose you potential clients while you’re trying to manually sync their data.