What 1st Impression Does Your Law Firm Make to Your Prospective Client?

first impressionTypically your prospective client will find you by a referral source or from your online presence.  However, they will usually contact you by phone.  What does your client hear when they call you?

The ABA Law Practice Division’s Social Media, Legal Blogs, and Websites Committee wanted to evaluate what a client experiences when calling a law firm.  They posed as prospective clients and made hundreds of calls to law firms across the country.

The results are surprising:

  • Less than 10% of prospective clients actually speak with a lawyer.
  • 42% of the time, law firms take three or more days to reply to a voicemail or web-generated form fill from a prospective client.
  • 3% of callers gave up before the phone was even answered and 11% of calls lasted less than 10 seconds—most likely prospective clients frustrated by their inability to reach a person.
  • Across the board, firms’ failed to deliver an outstanding first impression to potential clients.

With all the time, effort, and cost you put into marketing to make the phone ring, it is important to evaluate your intake process and how you respond to a prospective client’s call.

Here are some tips:

  • Answer the phone with your firm name.  Answering the phone by saying “Law Office” is too generic.
  • Return phone calls as soon as practicable.  Clients value responsiveness and the feeling that they are getting your prompt attention.
  • Whoever answers the call, whether you or your assistant, make sure to say your name so the client feels like they’ve made contact with a person who will help them. It will also start to build the relationship with your firm.

Brush up on your phone etiquette and intake process.  As the saying goes… You have only 1 chance to make a 1st impression.

Want more tips and advice for your awesome law practice? Check out Law Office on a Laptop, Second Edition: How to Set Up Your Own Successful Law Mobile Law Practice.

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