Have you ever thought about your “buying tendencies”? Are you more likely to buy from someone who greets you at the door of a store and asks if they can help you?  You may say “No Thank You, I’m just browsing.” But, you’re more likely to buy from them if they have first offered you to help you.  The same goes for your website.  Websites today are like stores.  The first contact you have with a potential client is crucial.

The client experience is crucial at every step.  This is even more true today when much of the interaction occurs even before the client enters your office.  Potential clients begin by shopping around various law firm websites for the service that they need.  Your website must make an impact and engage them so that they want to stay and see what you have to offer further.  The “sales person” is the live chat feature. Try to think of this feature as your online greeter.  Make sure that this “person” asks direct questions of the potential client such that it will help qualify them and also make them feel a sense of confidence and value in their initial decision to contact you.

But, just having a welcoming “greeter” and an engaging website isn’t enough.  You need to take things one step further if you are thinking about actually converting these potential clients into actual clients.  You must consider what you are going to do when they contact you in off hours?  How quickly are you going to get back in touch?  In order to qualify clients you need to gather enough information, but how much is enough without making them feel invaded?  How do you retain the leads of those who aren’t qualified as clients for your firm?  How do you follow up with them?

What do we mean by an engaging website? Here again, you must think like a potential client.  They are looking for information.  You want to stand out.  You don’t want to be so general that you blend in with every other attorney out there.  But, too much information can be overwhelming.  Your potential client needs to see themselves working with you.  Listing specific practice areas can be a good thing, but too many can cause them to get lost.  Each page should be informational and educational.  The language should be easy to understand and straightforward.

Once you have combined your online chat feature with an engaging site and you have prepared your team to handle the new intakes your firm should be ready for your new “customers”.  It is still important to remember that the client experience doesn’t end with your website.  The experience should carry over to the calls and face to face interaction they encounter with your team.  If you consider all of these factors you will have put your best foot forward and given a great website welcome!