Consumers now operate in a multi-channel world1. People looking for a lawyer may search causally on their mobile phones, see advertisements online or hear them on the radio on their way to work. They may do more diligent research once in front of a computer.
The more opportunities lawyers can provide for people to connect when ready to convert, the more likely they are to grow their funnel of prospective clients. Chat has evolved into an effective lead generation tool for all kinds of companies and now there is one specifically for lawyers2. The following are some compelling reasons why chat (when done right) is a must have for attorneys.
Picking up the phone used to be the only way to get a hold of an attorney (at least to get the conversation started). Today the channels of communication have multiplied to include social media, email, chat, forums, video conferencing, contact forms, and SMS messaging among others.
Attorneys using chat have yet one other way to capture a person who is interested in hiring a legal representative. Chat taps into that unique phenomenon where consumers do not want to commit to a phone call but they still want to talk with someone. With chat, people still get the speed and attention to detail not offered by contact forms or email. They also get the anonymity and privacy not offered by social media channels.
As a lead generation tool for lawyers, chat programs can even be used to help facilitate cross-firm collaboration or case overflow3. If there are other attorneys that a firm works with by referring relevant cases, chat can help expedite that process and make it seamless for potential clients.
A unique advantage of using chat is that all conversations are recorded. Lawyers fielding chats or having paralegals do it can work on improving their process. Chat logs can be used to get valuable information in moving a relationship along and contact information can also be captured. Clever chat companies can also finesse a live phone4 call out of visitors that started out in the chat funnel.
Information in chat logs can be saved and because of that, it is a highly trackable lead generation method. Attorneys can easily see their return on investment by tracking how many chats ended up referring them profitable clients.
Many chat services also track where prospects came from. For example you can see how many people found you as the result of an online ad or in organic search and then started a chat session with you. Information like this can help you decide where to put more of your time and money in terms of marketing efforts.
Good chat services enable you to gather leads automatically. How does that work exactly? Attorney-specific chat services have highly trained customer service reps that are answering chats for the firm. Those reps gather all of the information that a firm would need to follow up on a qualified lead. That information is then passed along to the firm for follow up.
Chat logs are recorded so that you can go back in and make sure reps are saying the right things to your potential clients. The best part is that your firm does not have to stay online 24/7 to catch all leads. Consumers often demand this kind of attention from larger companies and are pleasantly surprised when they can reach someone at a local law firm after hours in an online chat.