Happy New Year!
Wondering what you should prioritize in 2022?
I have no idea.
However, I can tell you what a lot of law firms I’ve reviewed should be prioritizing. Here they are:
Here are some additional thoughts on a few of these.
Responsiveness to questions
From my experience, “responsiveness” should likely be a top priority for you. It is exceedingly rare that I come across a firm that has nailed both response speed and quality.
How fast do you need to be? As fast as possible. And then try to be faster than that.
At a minimum, you should consider:
- Email autoresponders
- 24/7 virtual receptionists
- A response policy (i.e. all inquiries responded to in X time, probably 24 hours)
How do you know whether you have a speed problem? Count the number of potential clients that are marked “lost – hired another lawyer.”
But speed is meaningless without quality.
Just because your “automated phone system” answers my call, if you expect me to push a bunch of buttons before I talk to a person, well, I’m likely to hang up and move to the next lawyer.
What is quality? Ask them!
Ask contacts and clients:
- How would you rate our response?
- Were all your questions answered?
- Did you have any issues with us?
You’re not the arbiter of quality, they are.
This one is tricky. While we know that price transparency is important to prospective clients, there may be valid reasons you don’t publish pricing on your website.
Check out our Lunch Hour Legal Marketing episodes on pricing:
- Pricing to Get Hired: Bridging the Gap Between Lawyers & Clients
- “Fascinating Stuff, This Pricing” (Can We Talk About It?)
If pricing is a competitive advantage for you, maybe you should consider making it more transparent.
This is another tough one for many firms. For plaintiff’s attorneys, in my experience, free consultations are table stakes. On the other hand, I know many very successful attorneys that charge hundreds of dollars for an initial consultation.
If you offer free consultations, you should probably let people know. If you don’t, you may want to let them know that too.
If you obfuscate your pricing and consultation policies, get ready for bad reviews.
Positive online reviews
Just about every study that addresses online reviews, validates their significance in a consumer’s hiring decision.
But you don’t need to conduct a study or be a digital marketing expert to recognize this. Think about how you make purchasing decisions. But even if you don’t, here’s what people see when they search for lawyers:
Reviews. Reviews. Reviews.
Positive reviews are the outcome of delivering remarkably positive experiences. And these experiences aren’t limited solely to your competence as a lawyer. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Most of your clients don’t have a great frame of reference to judge your skill as a lawyer. However, they have a lifetime of experience knowing what it feels like to be treated well.
Fix their experience first. Then implement policies, systems, and processes that nudge happy clients to sing your praises online. Remember, positive reviews don’t necessarily have to reveal anything about the client’s matter. People are much more interested in knowing how you’ve treated other similarly situated clients in the past.
Available outside business hours
Just like you, your clients have jobs and lives. In 2022, I encourage you to prioritize implementing systems that expand your firm’s availability outside regular business hours. No, I don’t mean that you should be working and fielding inquiries 24/7. But someone, or something, should provide people some options outside regular business hours.
On a scale of 1-10, how do people rate you on these? Notice I didn’t ask how you rate yourself. If you’re not asking, you’re not managing toward improvement.
Prioritize these in 2022 and let’s check in a year from now on their impact.
Lunch says they’ll have a significant impact on your firm’s 2022 growth.
Make it a great year!