Chat tools have been positioned by many as a necessity for law firm websites. And while they certainly have their purpose, it’s essential to understand your specific purpose when deciding whether to implement one on your site. The structure of your law firm will speak to the UI and UX of your chat tool – one size does not fit all.
Given the plethora of chat tools on the market in legal, we at Civille have developed a customizable chat tool that solves several issues in the market. To better understand our positioning, let’s first look at some of the main problems that current chat tools cause that we discovered during our field research.
Law Firm Chat Tool Problems
- Most chat tools cost law firms either a flat rate per month or charge per lead that they bring in. This adds unnecessary cost for the law firm, as many potential clients would have filled out a well-positioned and friendly form or called the law firm anyway. Given the flat cost of the tool or cost per lead, the firm is essentially paying for its customer twice. And since third parties are judged on performance, the chat provider will often purposely try to cannibalize other lead sources to make themselves look good to your firm and prove value, yet the data often isn’t integrated or visible outside of one-off reporting.
- Legal issues that individuals have can be time-consuming to answer directly in a chat environment. If the firm is answering the chats themselves, it eats a lot of bandwidth. If a third-party agent is answering the chat, they often don’t have the specific expertise to fully address the person’s issue. If the chat is automated, the same problem can arise if the consumer has an in-depth issue that they are looking for answers on.
- In a live chat environment, potential clients will expect in-depth answers to their legal matters, which often is an issue for live chat agents and automated tools. Even if the person can effectively get the client through the process, the client will need to start from scratch with the firm’s intake team, which is a highly frustrating situation. The client just gushed about their entire case history and now has to retell the entire story.
- Because the chat tools are so enticing to interact with, low-quality leads end up getting passed through that the firm cannot convert. The chat service then collects on these leads that likely wouldn’t have interacted with a properly optimized site and leads form.
Before you get the wrong idea about law firm chat, understand that there is value in having a chat tool. As we developed our tool, we next looked at the positives of chat tools.
Law Firm Chat Tool Benefits
- Younger individuals are more likely to interact with a chat tool than fill out a leads form or call the firm. Millennials are 20% more likely to interact with a chat tool than baby boomers, and they are 75% more likely to choose chat or messaging over picking up a phone.
- Chat tools do lower the bar of intimidation that some perceive with contacting a law firm. Many people don’t want to be in a position to have to pursue a legal matter, so they are timid to contact the firm directly.
- An adequately curated chat tool can save valuable time for team members – especially on small firms without an intake team – as it can filter down inquiries, so the firm only receives qualified leads. In this way, the website and chat tool are essentially working for your law firm.
Enter: Civille Chat Tool for Law Firms
Given all of this knowledge, we created a chat tool that can serve the needs of law firms by customizing to their specific business – without the detractors. Here are our Civille Chat Tool keys to success.
- Essential Design. Display the chat on the site, but don’t overpower a potential client with it, leaving them no other option. Having an attractive form solution and easy click-to-call is great – leads don’t have to come from chat. But for those individuals who feel more comfortable chatting, it’s there for them.
- Back to Basics Information. Going through a long chat process is frustrating for a potential client when they can’t get a concrete answer without later talking to an intake employee or attorney anyway. Give them just what they need – confidence in how many cases like theirs you’ve handled, ask them if they want to take the next step in the conversation with an attorney, and pass their information to your team. In this way, you’ve provided a friendly experience without improperly setting expectations within the chat.
- Low-Pressure Interaction. Instead of intimidating a potential client by asking for their name first, get a little information to make them feel comfortable first. This has proven to increase conversion rate and avoids people that engage the chat, then leave when the first question is “Can I have your name?”
- Filter the Needs and Bad Leads. Have a selection process where the client is led down a path but feels in control – from selecting their area of need to Yes/No questions that can qualify or disqualify them, you can understand what they want and filter out any leads that were never going to transfer to a case.
- Easy Chat Integration. Instead of upselling a chat tool or double-charging for leads that are already on the site, Civille bundles in the chat tool with website offerings. And since the services are all integrated, there’s no incentive to force potential clients into the chat feature to pump up the numbers on reporting, resulting in loss of leads or lower quality leads.
Given that our chat tool is customizable, it can fit the needs of firms large and small. We’re happy to have a conversation on how our platform and tools can start doing the hard work for your law firm. For more information, drop us a line or call 920-903-5168.