The Client Journey: 5 Stages of Choosing and Hiring a Law Firm
No matter what legal services they need, every client goes through the same five phases to choose and hire a law firm. It’s called the “client journey,” and according to Bigger Law Firm, it has to factor into your marketing strategy if you want to see serious results.
Clients have different mindsets and priorities in each phase of the journey, so it makes sense that your marketing has to change based on where they are. So what are the five stages of the client journey, and how can you reach clients every step of the way?
The discovery phase is when clients are introduced to your firm for the very first time. At this point they may not need legal services, but perhaps they learn about you through advertising or know your firm because of its reputation. This is why branding is critical. When you have a strong reputation and a clear message, clients know about you before they ever need a lawyer. Then, when clients do need representation, you’ll be the first firm they think of. That’s a huge advantage over the competition.
Once clients find themselves facing a legal matter, they start researching — and for almost everyone, that means Googling. Your website, social media accounts and profiles on Yelp and Avvo all need to be in tip-top shape to reach and impress clients who are in the consideration phase. Ideally, your website should show up on the first page of Google when clients search your practice area, and it should quickly give clients a snapshot of your firm while guiding them to contact you. Make sure your information is easy to find and your website is easy to navigate, or clients may choose another firm purely out of frustration.
Congrats — you’ve got a new client! But your work isn’t over yet. A newly converted client holds a wealth of information. You should ask every client how they heard about you, and chatty ones may be willing to tell you more about their research and the deciding factor that sealed the deal. Additionally, it’s equally important to know why people aren’t choosing you. You probably won’t get that info from a lost prospect, but you can use analytics to help pinpoint when and where clients are ruling you out. For example, are people visiting your website but leaving before they get to the contact page?
All the effort you put into marketing will be for nothing if you don’t deliver. Providing clients with quality service is the most important part of the journey, and it goes beyond just representation and advice. Are your administrative staff friendly? Is your office inviting? Is it easy for clients to get in touch with you? Engaging clients and building genuine relationships with them ensures a smooth transition to the final leg of the journey.
Satisfied clients are worth their weight in gold, not only because they’ll return to your firm in the future, but because they’ll tell everyone they know about their positive experience. This is where the client journey comes full circle: testimonials from clients in the loyalty phase are incredibly powerful for clients in the discovery and consideration stages. Stay in touch with your best clients and ask them to write online reviews, speak in video testimonials and share your firm news on their social media accounts. Being mindful of clients at every step of their journey ensures they’ll reach the loyalty phase and help keep your client pipeline full.