You finish law school, pass the bar, and begin practicing law. You may have an easy time finding clients, or it may be challenging. Regardless, you will need to think about marketing for your law firm at some point. One thing you may not have considered, though, is the importance of the client's journey and their experience with you.
The term client journey is a legal marketing term that refers to the customer experience of dealing with you. The journey includes any interaction a client has with you, from their first call to your law firm and speaking with whoever answers the phone to their communications with you and other legal professionals throughout the case, and even invoicing and payment after the work is complete. If someone from your law firm follows up with the client after the experience, that too is part of the overall client journey.
Any interaction with you or anyone from your law firm can instantly affect a client's opinion. Therefore, it's essential to make sure each and every client has a positive experience with you, or it could result in negative reviews, bad press, or loss of other clients.
When marking for a law firm, the client journey is a critical aspect that can make or break your reputation. When thinking about the client experience from a legal marketing standpoint, you want to avoid negative perceptions and interactions because they can hurt your business.
The flip side of it is when you care deeply about the client journey and show the client you are empathetic about their situation, you improve that relationship and spread goodwill about your firm, which can equate to many more clients coming in the door. Emotional intelligence is a crucial aspect of any successful legal marketing strategy, and it begins with the client journey.
If you think about most situations when a potential new client starts looking for a lawyer, typically, they are in a difficult situation that includes heightened emotions. If you can empathize with your clients and feel what they are feeling, it will pave the way toward a positive client journey. When someone feels heard and understood, it builds trust.
Building more sales and focusing on legal marketing isn't just about making money; it's also about enhancing brand recognition, trust, and credibility. Law firms who have mastered emotional intelligence can typically charge 8% more than their peers. It pays to take the time to improve your client's experience from start to finish.
Some ways to incorporate a positive client journey in your law firm marketing strategies are:
Have someone you trust go through a mock experience with you, from calling to set up that initial appointment through billing and follow-up. Ask for their honest opinion about where they encountered bottlenecks or felt rushed or unappreciated. Use their feedback to hone your entire system of intake to completion.
Change everything in your law practice so that whenever you make any type of decision, you first consider how it will affect your clients. For example, you may consider adding new technology to make things more efficient, but if it impedes your clients from reaching you quickly, then it might not be worth it.
Audit the client experience from an administrative standpoint and look for opportunities for change and improvement. Spend as much time thinking about the client experience as you do marketing for your law firm.
If any of your clients mention that it would be easier to pay bills online, look into a system to make that part of their experience smoother. Meet your clients where they are; make life easier for them, not just you. Learn to be a good listener; the keys to a better client experience could be staring you in the face.
Keep in mind age differences and how different groups of clients may respond to technology.
Keep in mind each client is very different, and what they want or need from you may be different. Active listening is also an essential skill to master when assessing what the client needs so you can deliver it.
Part of your law firm's digital marketing strategy may be to segment customers for target campaigns. You can use this same information to group clients into subsets, so you know exactly what they need because you have handled similar clients the same way successfully.
Try to put yourself in their shoes and think like a client. Getting in touch with what makes this person tick will help you connect more deeply with them and build trust and a lasting relationship.
If you find you are serving a specific type of client, for example, workers' compensation claims and insurance fraud, you may want to start specializing in that. If most of your revenue comes from a specific type of client, cater to them. It will enhance their experience with you and set your firm apart as the premier law firm to contact for these types of issues.
Don't be afraid to start over and revamp everything to fit your desired target audience. Legal marketing is all about flexibility and pivoting when something needs to change.
Nothing disappoints clients more than when they are promised a call that never happens. Be sure to communicate often with your clients. Let them know you are there for them, and just a phone call away. Even just a check-in call if you don't have any updates can go a long way towards building trust and goodwill. Engagement doesn't just happen on social media. It's essential to make communication a top priority with your clients.
Never make assumptions about people or situations. Instead, give a quick call or shoot off an email to ask questions before you take any action that may backfire if you are wrong.
After you have completed the work for each client, ask them to fill out a short questionnaire as part of the follow-up. Use the feedback to make improvements. Most law firms could be doing better, and with a few tweaks to your law firm's marketing strategies and improving the customer journey, there is a huge opportunity to bring in more work, more revenue, and further success.
INGAGE is a premier law firm marketing agency offering top-tier digital marketing services for lawyers. We have helped dozens of law firms establish themselves firmly in the marketplace using proven legal digital marketing strategies. Some of the ways in which we helped clients are through:
One of the ways we help law firms realize their digital marketing goals is by improving and enhancing the client journey. We know you are busy and don't have a lot of time to commit to marketing your law firm. Let us do the hard stuff and get you where you need to be. Call INGAGE today to talk about how we can help you drastically improve your client's experience.