The Responsiveness Problems in Law Firms Can Be Solved In Four Steps
As the lawyer in your law firm, you don’t have a lot of time for pointless chatter. This is true not only in the sense that you don’t have enough time in the day, but also because you are required to operate at a high level so often, your attention span can’t handle pointless detail.
Truly, the only things worth paying attention to are things that can give you precious time back or generate additional revenue without adding to your plate.
In this article, we will explore the importance of consistent, proactive responsiveness, but in a way that saves you time and generates more revenue.
The Responsiveness Problem in Law Firms
The reason it’s important to bring up responsiveness is simply that lack of responsiveness costs law firms money.
Research by the ABA says 42% of the time, law firms take 3 days or more to respond to voicemails or forms filled out in their firm.
Additional research adds that responsiveness is often the deciding factor for which law firm a prospective client chooses.
I don’t think anyone would dispute this. Lawyers know this is the case, but what can they do about it? You sacrifice some revenue for your own sanity because to prioritize quick responses means you’re tied to your phone and that’s not practical.
Here are four steps to increase revenue by improving responsiveness.
Step 1: Increase Responsiveness
To be clear – when we say “responsiveness” – this is what we mean. When the phone rings or someone fills out an intake form or in any way reaches out to your law firm expressing interest in working with you – how quickly do you reach them? The sooner you can, the more they feel like you are in control and they will trust you and most likely work with you.
So the first step in adding revenue is to increase the speed of responsiveness. Reach these potential clients immediately. Work them through a process that leads proactively to the next step.
Live chat and its continued prominence is an example of this, with some estimates expecting an 87% increase in usage in the next year. With live chat, you are able to provide an instant, easy experience for potential clients from the convenience of where they are.
Step 2: Qualify Potential Clients
In your responsiveness, you need to have a plan. The plan is not to convert every single lead into a new client. There are clients out there that will do more harm than good.
The goal in responsiveness after the initial contact is to qualify the lead. You should have specific criteria for what your ideal client looks like and specific questions you can ask to determine if it’s a good fit. Virtual receptionists are a great option for developing a process for qualifying and directing new leads. With Smith.ai you can automate such questions with dedicated live receptionists who are familiar with your Law Firm and provide you with detailed email summaries of each conversation and even provide you with appointment reminders.
Doing this quickly puts you in control of the situation and demonstrates professionalism and confidence to the potential client.
Step 3: Systematize Referrals
Of course, you will generate more revenue from qualifying leads and responding quickly, but what about those who don’t qualify?
This is where you can make more revenue, without sacrificing time. You can set up a system for sending referrals to other attorneys for referral fees. If you can take some time on the front end to know who to refer to based on the responses to your qualifying questions, you can very quickly make these referrals.
Now you’re not only saving time by weeding out unqualified clients, but also generating more revenue and creating goodwill with other attorneys. Everybody wins.
Think of it this way. Everyone who reaches out to your law firm, whether they are qualified clients or not. As a lawyer and a person, it’s a great feeling to be able to help solve problems. By systematizing referrals, you make connections, solve problems and make things better for everyone.
Step 4: Increasing Responsiveness for Lead Generation
Generating leads in a law firm can be a catch-22. Of course, we want more leads, clients, and revenue. The unfortunate nature of marketing is in order to accelerate leads, you will bring in a lot of disqualified leads along with the good.
For a law firm without a system for qualifying and referring disqualified leads, the system gets bogged down and can be overwhelming.
Once you have these systems in place, the greatest revenue driver of all kicks in – maximizing leads. Now you can bring in an unlimited amount of leads because you know how to quickly qualify or disqualify and keep everything moving.