What a “Live Chat” Operator Can Do for Your Law Firm
Receptionists — really good receptionists — are often the backbone of a small business.
They welcome visitors, politely answer their questions, comfort them if they're agitated, forward their information internally and help schedule appointments.
Live chat operators do virtually the same thing. They welcome visitors to your website, answer their questions, collect important information about their situation and pass it along to you the moment the session ends.
The difference, of course, is that live chat operators are available 24/7, 365 days a year.
Here are some must haves for a live chat operator:
- Have legal industry experience. Firms can choose to handle live chats in-house, but if the firm prefers to outsource, it is recommended to have a legal-focused chat service provider who has significant experience working with law firm clients and prospects. For instance, a live chat operator should not provide legal advice — he or she should be specially trained to avoid potential attorney-client privilege issues.
- Proactively engage visitors. The attention span of a website visitor, on average, is a few seconds at best. In those few seconds, your website should be able to serve what visitors are looking for, or else you will lose them. A live chat operator can proactively engage with a pop-up window that says something like, "Hello. Excuse the interruption, but we are available to answer your questions. Would you like to speak to a live person?"
- Ask customizable questions of visitors. Live chat operators welcome visitors, answer questions and gather basic case-specific details in real-time. You should have complete control over the live chat transcript, similar to how you would train the office receptionist who greets your prospective clients. The reason is simple — the script for a firm specializing in family law, for example, should be different from a firm specializing in personal bankruptcy.
- Assure potential client of follow up. Before a chat session concludes the operator should ask the visitor for contact information and assure him or her that someone from the firm will be in touch (within a business day, for instance).
- Instantly deliver chat leads. Timely delivery of chat leads increases the chances of your firm being the first to respond to potential clients. This dramatically improves the odds of signing a client. Operators should forward leads — only those with a prospective client's email and/or phone number — to your selected email account(s). Emails should include the full chat dialogue, the potential client's name, how they accessed your website, and the time span of the chat. The chat dialog should be especially helpful because it often reflects the client's sense of urgency, emotion and other important insights.
How cool is that?
Live chat operators give you a round-the-clock interactive website presence that lets you focus on what is most important — converting more website visitors into paying clients and building your practice.
Further, comparing how many of those leads are converted into clients at the end of each month helps you measure the ROI of your website and other online marketing activities.
Ask your provider whether a live chat operator is right for your website. It may be a conversation well worth having.
To learn more about our Martindale-Hubbell® Live Chat solution, contact a LexisNexis Law Firm Marketing Specialist.
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