If you’ve read or attended any of my presentations on marketing, you’ve heard me say that the most important factor for success is how it makes potential clients feel. 

Let’s face it, most of the time a potential client searching for legal services is not going through the greatest moment in their life, unless they are buying property or inheriting a large sum of cash. Which means that they are most likely in an emotional state, wrapped up in their own thoughts, and trying to find a solution to their problems. 

In that state, consumers will not wait … they want an answer now. 

On average, 42 percent of law firms don’t follow up on forms submitted sooner than three days after receipt. I’ve even heard lawyers say, “I wait until the person emails me, or submits a form a second time, so, I know they are really serious.” In my opinion, this is outlandish behavior at best! 

Yet, all too common. Not because lawyers take a nonchalant attitude towards answering the phone, following up on forms, or returning emails. Instead, it is because of the opposite. They are tied up serving clients or trying to live a normal life and spending time with loved ones. (Remember, we all go home at the end of the night!) 

Other factors to consider when it comes to considering how your website functions, and the accessibility of making an appointment:  

  1. Clients don’t care when your business hours are. Most legal issues occur after hours and on the weekend. 
  2. Millennials are the fastest-growing segment of legal consumers and they use text messaging as their primary form of communication, not email. 
  3. The average attention span is eight seconds, leaving you very little time to capture someone’s interest. Gen Z is 3–5 seconds.
  4. 90 percent of website visitors leave, this is what’s known as a “bounce” rate.  
  5. Images process 60,000 times faster in the human brain than text.

Now that we’ve covered the facts behind the growing popularity of live chat, let’s discuss your options. There are countless chat services out there, and I have lent my time to review only a handful who are, in my opinion, qualified to deliver services to law firms.

In my opinion, any organization that is going to speak directly to a potential legal client needs to know the guidelines of UPL (Unauthorized Practice of Law) backwards, forwards and sideways. Their staff needs to be nurtured and cared for in a way that promotes a positive employee culture, one that you can feel with every interaction you have with them.

When SiteStaff Chat reached out to me, it was their polite, persistent and empathetic demeanor that caught my attention. And, after further review, what I have found to be the difference with this provider is just that.

They care.

More than just signing up law firms as clients, SiteStaff Chat cares about the results they are achieving for the firms. They care about the relationships they build with the law firm staff and about garnering as much detail from a potential client as possible in order to save the law firm time during the intake or case evaluation process. This is a trend that is directly related to the fact that the requirements for working at SiteStaff Chat are set higher than most chat services.

First, a dominant number of Site Staff Chat employees hold a college degree a wonderful upside for law firms as a consumer’s perception of a lawyer is that they are well educated, sophisticated and articulate. Second, all chat hosts have to type at least 70 words per minute which is critical for capturing interest within the thin attention span timeframes we mentioned above. Third, and what could be the most important, SiteStaff trains for empathy and compassion.

Buyer behavior is based in the emotional response they feel during the sales process. And, if you think that your website isn’t “selling” for you, I’m sorry but you are wrong. In fact, that is the entire purpose of having a website, and the interaction clients have with your chat service is the first tangible response they will experience. By engaging a team like SiteStaff Chat’s, you ensure that not only will more website visitors be converted into clients, but through the questions you work with their team to provide, you will know as much about the website visitor’s situation as possible.

Onboarding for Optimal Conversion

After implementing SiteStaff Chat, law firms see an increase in overall conversion between 1 and 3 percent. That is directly related to the onboarding process required before service begins. A knowledge transfer begins between the firm and the chat team to provide an overview of the firm’s services and the ideal client, and commonly asked questions are addressed. All of this information is entered into a knowledge base that grows over time by adding frequently asked questions and any objections received.

Features and Benefits

It is completely unreasonable to expect any business to hire, train and staff to support a schedule of chat hours which is now a consumer expectation. In addition, there are the demands of text messaging, Facebook messenger and google search message responsiveness. By employing a chat service, firms are able to stay on top of the requests from all potential lead sources.

Unlike other services, SiteStaff Chat’s window is branded to match the design of each website, and never navigates a visitor away from the website. The use of an audio ping keeps potential clients engaged. The same “virtual ambassador” always appears to make return visitors feel comfortable seeing a familiar face.

Delivery and Response Time

All leads are delivered to the designated law firm staff member via text message instantly after the chat log is recorded. With an average chat response time of 18 seconds and a staggering average of eight minutes per chat, visitors are thoroughly cared for. A full suite of reports is available online to see chat history, notes, and trends over time.

Upcoming Releases

SiteStaff Chat’s technology team has an extensive text message expansion project in the works that will bring the ability to move a conversation from the chat window to a text message conversation. That is an expansion that will both increase conversions and further engage visitors who are visiting the law firm’s website from a mobile device. Integration is also underway for law firms that are leveraging the SiteStaff Chat platform.

In Summary

If you are not currently using a live chat service, you should know that you are losing market share. There is a factual shift in consumer communication preferences, moving away from phone and email to chat and text messaging. Your marketing budget should include services that not only drive more traffic but help to convert visitors. As you evaluate your options, consider the feelings that you would like your potential new clients to have. Knowledge of the legal industry and a commitment to care and empathy is what sets SiteStaff Chat apart from others in the field.

To learn more about SiteStaff Chat or to schedule a call visit them at SiteStaffChat.com   

Chelsey Lambert

Chelsey Lambert

Chelsey Lambert is a Legal Technology Specialist, published Author and CLE Speaker. As a former Practice Management Advisor for the Chicago Bar Association, and Vice President of Marketing for a leading case management provider she has seen our industry from many angles. Today, she works with vendors to bring their products or emerging technologies into the marketplace. And, teaches legal technology courses to lawyers all over the country sharing different ways technology can benefit their law firm. As Founder of Lex Tech Review and Lex Tech Media Group she welcomes the opportunity to chat!