A Live Chat Box Without Someone on the Other End is Worse than Useless
One an increasing number of lawyers are using a live chat box on their website, that is, a pop-up instant-messaging window that asks the visitor if he’d like to chat with a customer representative. These boxes are a powerful law firm marketing tool since they’re effective at capturing “impulse” surfers, but if you don’t have an employee available to chat on the other end they can do more harm than good.
What Should Happen When a Potential Client Uses the Chat Box?
Ideally, whenever a visitor to your site types something like “I have a question” in your IM box, a real, live human being on the other end should respond within a few seconds. If a query goes unanswered for more than 15 seconds or so, this potential client may:
- Immediately go on to the next law firm in his queue, since he doesn’t have time to waste and assumes you’re not interested in his business.
- If he’s especially patient, type in another query (perhaps with more information this time) and wait for an answer.
- If this query also goes unanswered, assume that “no one’s home” and stop wasting his time looking around your site.
At the very least, you should train all your office employees to reply in some fashion when that IM bell dings. Even an office assistant can easily type in something like “I’m sorry, our lawyers are not available now, is there a number where they can reach you?” or “Can we schedule an IM discussion later today?”
At this point, you may be thinking something like, “Well, a client likes to see that I have the IM box on my site, but practically no one ever uses it!” That may well be the case, but is it really worth losing that one prospective client who tries to contact you via IM and is greeted by silence? And think about it some more: what if this person recounts his experience to his friends, and warns them to stay away from your “ghost” site?
Starting over can be scary, but it can also be exciting, revitalizing, and motivating. That’s why many people daydream about what they would do if they could “start over.”
In fact, that’s one of the (few) things I enjoyed about golf! You start from zero at each hole and have a fresh opportunity to excel.
This was my mindset when I wrote the report, 10-Step Program for Marketing Success. I set out to answer the question, “what are the steps I would take if I were rebuilding my practice from the ground up.
Inside this report, you will discover everything I’ve learned since opening the doors to my law firm and all the big-picture tactics I teach the attorney members at Great Legal Marketing.
Most attorneys start their firms assuming that being a really, really good attorney should, in and of itself, be a marketing advantage. Those attorneys believe that joining a whole bunch of committees and putting their name in lawyer directories is “marketing,” and they never bother to ask if there is a better way.
Attorneys are catching on, however, and those who succeed learn to leverage their current resources to create effective (and ethical) marketing. What they discover isn’t a magic pill or silver bullet but a different approach to marketing that your competitors haven’t considered.
If you want a peek at what successful attorneys use to market their practice, the HERO Starter Kit is your logical next step.
We’ve put together a FREE (and potentially life-changing) kit for solo and small firm attorneys that will show you a better way to reach potential clients and get them excited to call your firm. Request your HERO Starter Kit from Great Legal Marketing!
by Ben Glass
Ben is a nationally recognized expert in attorney marketing and the owner of Great Legal Marketing.