In the first of our Client Experience series, we’re focusing on making a great first impression. We’ll take a look at the importance of making a great first impression for any new client, and share some tips on how to optimise your process. Making every enquiry count.
Let’s get started
You’ve probably seen us mention the importance of a conversion-focused website before, right? So you already know that being searchable and visible online is vital to winning more business. (If not, get caught up here).
But, what happens once your new client has filled in an enquiry form on your website or picked up the phone to get in touch? Do post-its go array or voicemails go unanswered for days? 85% of firms admitted they do not have a structured process for handling new business enquiries. Don’t be one of the 85%. If you don’t nail the first impression for your client, you can be sure they’ll look elsewhere.
Your first interaction with your client is vital – first impressions are made within the first 27 seconds of an interaction, so whether it’s a call, a face to face meeting, or an email, make it count. By taking considered, pre-planned steps, you can make sure every client receives the same standard of service from the get-go.
It’s hard to know where to start, so we’ve done that for you. Four tips for improving your client experience, and nailing that first impression.
Four tips for nailing your client’s first impression
1. A systematic approach
So, a client calls and leaves a voicemail - what next? To get you started, map out every way in which an enquiry can be made. Next, map out what tends to happen next in each channel. Do you have any gaps? Are there any channels that lack a clear process?
Now is the time to write it down and train your team. Here are our favourite tools for a smooth client onboarding:
- Template emails for different requests or practice areas, with editable fields to make it personal to that client
- Practised and confirmed protocols for managing emails from the client, including where they go, who looks at it and which time frames we are working towards
- Telephone rota for out of hours calls ensuring no call is left unanswered
- Online enquiry management system to allow for transparent management of the process
2. Make sure they know why you’re the best at what you do
There’s a lot of competition out there for legal services, so now is your chance to show your client that you are the best. Whether that is providing onboarding materials with client testimonials, or having a chat about what it’s like to work with you, demonstrating the value add that you bring to the service.
3. Information gathering, and pre-empting questions
You’re the expert, you know what your clients ask you. Pull together some FAQ documents or guides for each service you provide and send these early on. Your client will likely have additional queries, but this shows that you want them to feel at ease and have anticipated their needs.
Another great method of ensuring a smooth start for your client is to gather all the information you need upfront, where possible. This gives both parties peace of mind that all the required info has been provided, and there will be no surprise requests later down the line. There are a myriad of tools out there to facilitate this, for example, typeform.com or jotform.com.
4. Set expectations
Providing a legal service to a client is a two-way relationship, and trust can be tested if one party is expecting something that wasn’t agreed. Use the initial communication period to set transparent expectations from day one, helping both you and the client can build trust in each other. For example, let clients know that you’ll respond to emails within 24 hours, or allow them access to an emergency mobile number for special circumstances.
Need some help?
As discussed early in this blog, we would recommend mapping out where your enquiries are coming from as a starting point. Knowing where the paths lie means you can pave the new way much faster. We know it can be tricky to manage enquiries coming in from different channels, and with so many tools available it can be hard to know where to start. We’ve built a bespoke solution for this very issue.
Our online Client Intake Software gives you an at-a-glance view of any enquiry generated on the web and allows you to track, monitor and delegate each enquiry to ensure a smooth transition to fee-paying client. Say goodbye to post-its!
Our current law firm clients love it, and you might too. Call our Business Development Director, Chris, today on 03333 442 722 or via email at to find out how we can help you.