Guiding New Clients on the Journey to Retaining You

When you open a file, it's the end of a successful customer journey for the client — a trip that was influenced on the way by email, online searches, social media and referrals. Search engine giant Google recently unveiled data about which law firm marketing tactics are most influential in guiding that journey to a "customer purchase decision."

Google: path to purchaseWhich technique is the most effective? Savvy marketers understand that you don't always seal the deal with a single tactic. A client may see a display ad, click on a link from a friend, or do a search before deciding to select you for their legal matter.Google's online tool reveals online buying behavior and shows how different marketing interactions affect business success.

Every lawyer wants to "close" a new client, but that won't happen without marketing to consumers at the start of their journey, when they (a) become aware of a lawyer, (b) begin to consider the attorney, and (c) form an intent to call you.

Email and social media are effective early in the client journey, according to Google. These initiatives assist a consumer in becoming aware of a lawyer's services. (Note: I filtered the Google tool to display results for the finance industry, the closest analogue to the legal profession.)

This means that publishing an email newsletter, and having an active presence on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are important elements of a law firm marketing plan. These techniques will influence the journey a consumer takes, but it will require multiple interactions or "marketing touches" to direct them to hiring you. Lawyers.com has expertise in helping lawyers with social media marketing.

Pay-per-click advertising and paid search results are effective in tipping consumers from considering hiring a lawyer — to deciding to hire a lawyer. In fact, paid search turns out to be just as effective as being found in the results of "organic" or consumer-initiated searches.

A referral is marketing gold: according to Google, it leads directly to a purchase decision. Consumers who have received a referral to you are no longer shopping — they are ready to retain you. Among the ways to get more referrals is to ask clients to recommend you, and to establish referral arrangements with other lawyers.

To impress clients and lawyers, it is key to have an up-to-date lawyer profile. Lawyers.com receives 34 million unique visitors each year who are seeking legal assistance.1 Seventy percent of those visitors come to Lawyers.com to find an attorney.2

The Google tool proves the necessity of having a multi-faceted marketing campaign to generate new business. Email, social media, paid search and referrals are guideposts on the customer journey to retaining your firm.

 

1Self-reported LexisNexis Web Statistics, 2012
2Data derived from a custom analysis of sub-domain URL information from comScore Mar. 2012. This data is not reflected in the basic comScore interface.

Shhh! The #1 Secret to Boosting Client Referrals

Stephen Fairley shares with us the #1 secret to boosting client referrals and retention in this blog post that can found on the Rainmaker Blog.

When it comes to communicating with clients, listening is often more important than talking. It is by listening that you learn what clients want, and then you can give it to them. Which makes for more referrals and better client retention.

Here are some important methods you can use to actively listen to clients:
 
Open feedback. Always offer clients a way to provide feedback, through your website, an online survey and in your e-newsletter campaign. Simply asking for their thoughts is often enough to garner some important insights.
 
Transactional feedback. If you’re a regular Starbucks customer, you have undoubtedly received a free survey at some point with your receipt. You provide them with some feedback online and you get a free drink for your efforts. What attorneys can learn from this is the importance of asking clients for their thoughts about their experience with your firm after the case is over or at important points along the way. Keep your finger on the pulse of how satisfied they are with how your firm is treating them, and you’ll have a satisfied client.
 
Social media interaction. Monitor your social media channels to see what people are saying about you. You can search for your firm name on Twitter and Facebook , and you should be regularly monitoring Avvo, FindLaw, Yelp and Google for other comments about your firm.
 
Client satisfaction surveys. Using formal client satisfaction surveys is another good way to gauge client experiences with your firm. Send one out after each engagement is closed and respond immediately and personally to any negative feedback.

HOW TO: Get Clients to Rate & Review Your Law Practice

Are you asking your satisfied clients — lawyers and consumers alike — for reviews or testimonials, and actively posting them on your website?

Do you ask clients to leave recommendations for your services at online legal directories and on your social media profiles like Google+TM, LinkedIn®, Facebook® and Yelp®?

If not, why not?

Consumer opinions and recommendations are the most effective forms of advertising. Everybody is showcasing some form of third-party validation these days, including lawyers. Granted, some states prohibit client testimonials on law firm websites, so you'll have to ask your provider about that first. But if it's permitted, encourage your clients to rate you.

Here's what you should do:

Proactively Ask Your Clients to Rate You

Prospective clients want to know how they're going to be treated once they hire you. They want to better understand your approach and personality. So ask your existing clients for feedback on your services and communication skills. Ask about responsiveness, the quality of service and value for the money. Was there anything about your service they found surprising? Be sure to solicit reviews in addition to getting rated.

Read what else you should do at the LexisNexis website.

What Do I Say To A Prospective Client To Win Their Business?

david ackert, What Do I Say To A Prospective Client To Win Their Business, legal marketing, law firm marketingLearn how to expertly handle business development opportunities with prospects, contacts and new referral sources in our upcoming webinar, What Do I Say To A Prospective Client To Win Their Business? On November 18, 2011, veteran business development expert David Ackert and I will  describe:

  • How to test to see if a prospective client needs an attorney.
  • What you should say about your firm and its capabilities.
  • How to transition from a social conversation to a business dialogue.
  • How to avoid looking like a salesperson. 

Register now for this webinar
Click here to register. Save 20% if you register on or before Nov. 11: fee $240
Save 10% if you register on or before Nov. 15: fee $270
Fee beginning Nov. 16: $300
You can pay online with a credit card. Display the program in a conference room and invite as many attendees as you wish.

Topics Include:
  • Common business development mistakes that attorneys make
  • What clients care about when meeting you
  • How to ask the right questions and listen effectively
  • How to excel in a networking situation
  • Diagnosing a clients' need for service
  • How to overcome client objections to engaging your services
  • How to sell ideas for next steps
  • How to use a proven, step-by-step business development process

Who Should Attend:

  • All Attorneys who want to understand and apply the best professional practices of business/referral discussions for successful business development.
  • Associates looking to develop the right skills for business development and to begin now to develop their networks.
  • Marketing Directors looking for ways to support their attorneys with sound, practical methods.

Click here to signup for this event.