Parallel to its human resource, a law firm’s most valuable asset is its clients. Without clients calling your office to seek your legal services, your firm would struggle to carry on with operations and keep up with the competition. Even so, there are some law firms that may not understand their clients’ role in their growth and success. No wonder many face challenges with attracting and retaining clients in the long term. But that’s bound to change, as we’ve prepared this resourceful guide to talk about some of the challenges and provide little-known client-centered marketing tactics to help grow your law firm.
Challenges Law Firms Face with Attracting New Clients
The increased competition in the legal sector, and virtually any other industry, is attributable to the fast-paced digitalization experienced in the past decade. Today, potential clients have plenty of options to choose from since almost every law firm showcases its services digitally. With 1.3 million lawyers in the United States there is a lot of competition! So, you must stand out and outsmart tons of other firms offering similar services to convince a prospective client that you’re what they’re looking for.
Increased Popularization of DIY Legal Solutions
Again, the internet has played a role in the popularization of DIY law. Today, some individuals and businesses have reduced seeking professional legal assistance for some common services. For instance, it’s not uncommon for two parties to agree between themselves and draft a legally binding contract without an attorney’s output, as there are tons of templates that they can refer to from the internet.
Lack of a Large Referral Network
Did you know that 59% of law firm clients usually come from referrals from friends, families, other attorneys, and other networks? Unfortunately, that’s a privilege that most law firms, especially the budding ones, don’t enjoy. The good news is, that’s a feat you can effortlessly overcome by implementing a client-centered approach, as you’ll discover below.
Lack of an Acquisition Strategy
Surprisingly, some law firms wait on clients to find them or come knocking in the office without effort. It should be the other way around; a growth-focused law firm should have a clear-cut strategy for identifying potential clients and determining whether their firm is fit to work with that prospect. In other words, rather than waiting for opportunities on a silver platter, you should go looking for them through client-centered marketing.
The Best Client-Centered Marketing Solutions to Help Grow Your Law Firm
- Always Ask for Feedback
Surprisingly, many attorneys are usually hesitant to ask their clients for feedback, afraid of hearing what might follow. A colossal mistake! Make a habit of engaging with your clients progressively to ask how you’re doing so far and what you could do better. That means implementing a feedback generation program in your firm and training your attorneys on when and how to ask the appropriate questions at various steps of a legal matter. Online software such as SurveyMonkey or google forms make asking for feedback easy.
- Be a Good Listener and Communicator
Asking your clients for feedback goes hand in hand with being an excellent listener. You want to be keen when the client is pointing out their concerns and ask questions about how you can improve your work to keep the satisfaction rate high. Communication is also crucial! Keeping your clients updated with your progress on their case is enough to enhance your trustworthiness, popularity, and help you to understand the client’s needs better.
- Focus More on Networking
As we alluded to earlier, most clients would prefer to work with a lawyer they’ve been referred to by friends, families, or other professionals. That shows how critical your law firm’s networking and referral channels are to its growth. As such, you want to encourage your lawyers to nurture their relationships with other law firms, former colleagues, present and past clients, and other professionals like accountants. What’s more, LinkedIn is an invaluable platform where different professionals, including lawyers, convene to share ideas, trends, opportunities, etc., so make sure to leverage it. Finally, don’t underestimate the power of random interactions with different people, as they could be your bridge to prospects, referrals, top talents, etc.
- Empathy is a Critical Growth Enabler
The power of empathy in cultivating client relationships is indisputable. Empathy allows you to communicate with your clients appropriately, understand their unique needs, and apprehend their perspectives and goals. Remember, clients are humans, and dealing with some legal matters can be highly stressful. Sometimes, it only takes a phone call to show that you genuinely care about your client. And no, it doesn’t have to be legal-related; you can chat about family, business, and even give free advice on how they can overcome a personal challenge they’re facing.
- Leverage Technology
Imagine losing a valuable client because you spend a lot of time working on mundane tasks you can effortlessly automate to streamline efficiency and productivity. For instance,
- Instead of putting your clients on hold or missing their calls, you can invest in a virtual receptionist to take care of the timely answering of phone calls.
- Instead of leveraging the old-school, inconvenient pen and paper to track billable hours, you can automate the process with LawBillity to help maximize your firm’s ROI and boost client trust.
- And when you invoice your clients, you expect the payments to come as quickly as possible to optimize your firm’s cash flows and support operations, right? Well, LawPay is an incredible tool for receiving instant online payments 24/7.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg, as there are countless other technology solutions that can help automate your law firm for an improved employee and client experience.
Get Started with LawBillity
Let’s face it, attracting new clients, growing your law firm, and establishing it as a permanent force to reckon with isn’t child’s play. It takes hard work, commitment, and above all, strategy. You must have a strategic client-centered marketing plan that involves nurturing relationships, networking, asking for feedback, being responsive, leveraging technology, maintaining empathy, among other practices.
Another critical component to your law firm’s growth and success is effective time management and billing. The two are directly proportional in that if you don’t track every billable second spent working on a client’s matter, your profitability declines. Yet, many firms still struggle to maximize legal time tracking, others still relying on traditional pen and paper methods.
Luckily, we have a solution! Try LawBillity time management and billing software for FREE today to help track your new clients’ time.