How Automation Can Help You Attract, Engage and Delight More Clients
Get actionable tips to grow your firm by delighting your clients through each stage of the client journey with automation and technology.
Opening a law practice is an exciting time. However, it’s not long before you realize that having your own private practice requires business knowledge that law school just didn’t teach you. From marketing, handling the client intake process, and keeping your customers happy, it may seem like there is scant little time to actually practice law!
However, the excellent news is that it doesn’t have to be complicated. With technology, you can make the process simple. Using automation in your business allows you to work smarter, not harder. This article will explore how using automation can help you find, retain, and delight your clients so you can grow your law firm beyond your wildest expectations.
Understanding the Customer Journey
If you want to grow your law firm and be successful, you have to understand the customer journey. Thinking of the customer journey in phases is a great way for law firms to approach business.
The customer journey really consists of three different phases.
Phase 1 – Intake
This part of the journey starts the moment someone contacts your law firm up until they have hired you or your firm.
Phase 2 – Active matter
This phase begins once your client has actually hired you. At this point in the journey, you should have a scope of service, and typically have a definitive start and an end time.
Phase 3 – After the Case
Often ignored, this phase is extremely critical. The vast majority of business comes from referrals. Former clients need to be engaged and nurtured into a source of revenue for your firm in the future.
Every step of the journey is essential to running a successful law firm, and delighting your clients at each stage is critical to growth. Having an end-to-end software solution can make it easier to attract, engage, and really captivate your clients.
One of the hardest parts about just starting out or trying to grow your firm is attracting clients. You could be the best lawyer in the world, but if potential clients don’t know about you, it doesn’t matter. There are a ton of evidence-based ways to attract clients.
Networking. When you network with others, you get your name out there and passed around. Networking is crucial. You can get referrals, repeat business, and more client work by simply meeting new people, offering value, and playing an active part of your community.
91% of 18-34 year olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. (Bright Local)
However, networking should be intentional. It’s key to keep in mind that while you don’t want to be overtly promotional, you do want to be accessible.
Develop a strong online presence. Your website is your 25/7 salesperson, so make it work as hard as you do. Having a website, social media presence, blogging, and engaging in SEO practices are all some of the best ways to attract new clients online. An online presence is your best bet for collecting feedback, reviews and generating repeat business.
Over 97% of consumers use online media when researching services in their area. (Qualtrics)
With the proper marketing automation software, you can put many of these online tactics on autopilot. While you allow automation to do the work of attracting and engaging new leads, you can focus your attention on billable work or other essential growth-driven activities.
Newsletters. Drip campaigns and newsletters are a huge opportunity to attract clients, get repeat business, and encourage referrals. By offering value to your client base with important industry updates that might affect their case or helpful insight that may help them understand their unique situation, you can build stronger client relationships.
This too can be automated! Schedule email drip campaigns that are automatically sent out, and placed in front of your ideal audience at an ideal time.
Make your goal to create high-quality content that interests, benefits or inspires your clients. This will keep you top of mind, so the next time someone asks them for a referral, who do you think they'll recommend? That's right – your responsive practice that provides value!
The Importance of Legal Client Intake Software
The strategies listed above paired with marketing automation are bound to help you attract more business. However, once the leads start accumulating, you’ll want to have a system in place to properly manage them with ease.
You don’t want to lose a single lead or let one fall through the cracks. You want to handle each new lead with the same amount of attentive care and responsiveness. This is where automated legal case intake software comes into play.
Using legal case intake software is one way to really use automation to your advantage in terms of attracting clients and managing leads. Automation lets you focus your time on your most important tasks. Client intake software allows you to do the following:
Respond to new leads via text messaging or email
Auto schedule appointments and initial consultations
Send text reminders to clients to reduce no-shows
Offer e-signature for legal docs to eliminate the back and forth
Set up email drip marketing automation campaigns to keep your client base engaged and generate repeat business
Engaging Your Clients
Attracting clients is only the first part of the customer journey. Once you start bringing in clients, you’ll want to ensure they have a positive experience from the moment they reach out to your firm to long after their case is closed. Let’s dive into Phase 2 of the customer journey – Active Case.
This stage of the customer journey is arguably one of the more difficult parts of delighting your clients, depending on your area of practice. Each case is different and may present varying levels of pressure.
For instance, if you’re a criminal defense lawyer or family lawyer, the clients you’re representing may be dealing with a substantial amount of stress and anxiety surrounding the proceedings of their case. There are few things more stressful than someone fighting for his or her freedom or children.
This court case is, understandably, one of the most important things that your client is dealing with in their life at that time. Unfortunately, most attorneys and their unforgiving schedules aren’t able to spend much of their time on the phone constantly reassuring their clients.
Fortunately, there is a way to give every client the time and attention they both need and deserve without sacrificing your billable hours or losing new clients. You can easily use automation and technology to exceed customer expectations during this part of the customer journey.
Create and track audience segmentation to engage clients in every part of the journey
Easily manage client communications and activities to make sure that no client falls through the cracks
Keep your records up to date and organized with minimal effort
Sort client criteria for relevant communications, promotions, and more.
By using automation, you can treat every customer as they are your most valuable customer. You can do this by thinking about what you desire in services. Put yourself in your clients’ shoes. Consider how you would like to be treated as a customer. The more you consider this, the better you will serve your clients.
Tips for Engaging and Retaining Your Clients
It’s never a good idea to “wing it” when it comes to your customer service. Instead, you should develop, implement and evaluate a plan for a positive customer journey from start to finish – and beyond. Here are some tips to help you get started.
Get to Know Their Preferences
The best way to provide excellent customer service is to cater to your client’s needs. What may work for some may not work for all. Take the time to get to know your client’s preferences. With a legal CRM system complete with automation, you can easily schedule follow ups, appointments, and newsletters per your client’s needs.
It’s important to know that a one-size-fits-all system will not work for your clients. The best customer journey is the one that provides an approach that is personalized and makes your clients feel that they are valued.
Consider and Match Your Client’s Communication Style
Understanding your customer’s client communication style is important to having a preference. Some only want an email to catch up once in a while, and others like updates as much as possible. You can use technology and automation to give your clients direct access to their case so you can update them frequently- without taking up any more of your time.
Always Give Your Best
Cases are stressful. There is so much to take care of on a day to day basis that it’s important you slow down and perform your best. There are days when the very last thing you want to do is talk to customers.
One of the best ways to do this is to use automation to your advantage. You shouldn’t be spending valuable time and energy doing manual tasks that can easily be automated. This will free up brainspace for the things that matter – practicing the law and keeping your clients happy.
Send clients a simple text or email thanking them for hiring you and giving the opportunity to work with you. You can use automation to set this up at any time- whether it’s new client onboarding, or when the case ends (or both!).
This personalized message shows you care and that your clients mean a lot to you. This can go a very long way in terms of keeping clients happy and opening and ending the case on a good note.
Delight Your Clients Beyond the Case
Phase 3 of the customer journey takes place once your client’s case is closed and your services are complete. Your involvement isn’t over just yet, however. At this point, you’ll want to continue to delight your clients to keep them engaged, so they’ll keep you top of mind for the future and for referrals.
This phase is so important because happy clients can really grow your business!
It can cost 5x more to acquire new clients than to keep current ones. (Invesp)
Delighting your customers at this stage has the potential to really position your firm to scale and grow while lowering customer acquisition costs, making it a win/win.
However, you might be thinking… that sounds like more work for myself when I’ve already completed the job and moved on to another case. With the right automation tools for your law firm, you can easily keep up with consistent engagement with your client base and turn old business into new business.
With automation, you can easily use a law firm CRM to manage vital communications and client relationships to increase repeat business and referrals! A legal CRM makes it easy for your firm to do the following:
Manage and schedule emails or texts to send to past clients on holidays, birthdays or other special occasions
Segment your client base into different groups so you can send personalized content that provides value to them or interests them
Save your client’s information so you can easily access it if they return with a new case for you to work on
Create auto follow-ups to stay on top of incoming messages and emails from former clients
Practicing law while making time to grow your law firm is no small feat. It’s an ongoing process that requires a great deal of time, energy, and money to undertake. Fortunately, with legal automation software, you can streamline your growth, win new business, and delight your clients every step of the way.
Automation makes attracting, engaging and retaining clients easy, providing a client-centric approach that creates repeat business, referrals, and overall positive experiences working with your law firm.