Originally Published December 11th, 2018
You’ve taken the step to build a next-generation practice – investing in a digital marketing strategy of a quality website and digital advertising to grow your business. And you have employed live chat, allowing your potential clients a low-pressure way to make contact while sharing some information about themselves. While live chat is a good way to turn your website visitors into leads, it doesn’t automatically turn them into clients. How you handle those leads determines who becomes a member of your client base and who remains just a visitor to your site.
The First Five Minutes
We all know the saying “timing is everything,” and it couldn’t be truer when it comes to lead response. Lead quality is highest at the time potential clients are looking for a trusted advisor. This is the case whether your leads come from a website, live chat or even a pay-per-lead program. The longer you wait to follow up on leads, the less likely you are to make them your clients.
A study by LeadResponseManagement.Org suggests you are more likely to turn a lead into a client if you contact them within the first five minutes. They examined data collected over a three-year period from six businesses, focusing on one question: when should companies call web-generated leads for optimal contact and qualification? The results were interesting: when a team member followed up on leads within the first five minutes – as opposed to the first 30 minutes – they were 100 times likelier to make contact with the lead. What’s even more striking is they were 21 times more likely to convert the lead.
Creating an effective lead follow-up structure can help you connect to your leads quickly, allowing you to offer solutions and turn them into clients.
Build a Follow-Up System that Works for You
Good leads only help grow your business if you know what to do with them. And the first step in turning your leads into clients is to build a solid road map for following up.
Start by determining who needs to be contacted first. Prioritizing and categorizing your leads will help you decide who has the greatest potential and who is just browsing. Some variables factoring into how you make this determination, and how you build your follow-up plan, may include some of the following:
- Site traffic
- Incoming lead volume
- Incoming lead quality
- Size and availability of intake team
Involve your office team in your follow-up plan as they will partner with you to handle intake and build client relationships. Rely on your customer-relationship management software (CRM) to help manage your leads – feed your chats directly into your client records so you can apply your existing intake system to your live-chat lead prospects.
The last point is especially important – even outside of office hours, a responsive live chat system can grab potential clients on your site and facilitate communications with them. You’ll want to retain chat details to assist with follow-up during office hours.
When you fail to follow up quickly, you make it easy for your competition to close in on your prospects. Keep in mind, your potential clients have done their research and formed a strong opinion about the attorney with whom they would like to work. There’s a good chance they may focus on three or more attorneys before making the decision to commit. Staying accessible to potential clients shows them you are serious about getting – and keeping – their business. And it may give you that edge to grab the clients your competitors didn’t reach in the first 5 minutes.
When you understand the drivers that increase or decrease lead conversion, you can build a solid plan to move your practice forward and capitalize on your smart investment in a strong, functional and comprehensive digital marketing strategy.