Lots of law firms still retain a hankering for live chat, viewing it as more effective than chatbots. Like many choices law firms make, this one, too, may not be based on informed decisionmaking, but rather the soft comfort of the status quo, which many law firms rely on – to their detriment.
Chatbots are essentially scripted intake forms that take operate via a conversational interface. This represents an improvement over traditional law firm intake forms, in that there is an actual give-and-take, an engagement, as the bot ask questions, and the user answers in reply. This can seem very much like a natural conversation (even as users knows they’re talking with a bot, a machine), and is fast becoming the preferred business communication platform, especially for younger consumers. Legal consumers want to be able to immediately engage with law firms, and take a next step – like scheduling an appointment with a lawyer – and, chat tools are perfect for that use case.
Now, both live chat and chatbots offer that functionality. But, chatbots can do it better.
How? Glad you asked:
-Chatbots allow you to control the entire conversation, and to limit it to only the information gathering that you need. How many times does a live chat agent or virtual receptionist go on a frolic, and take a circuitous route to a final vetting of a potential client? How often do they make mistakes? How often have you asked yourself, ‘Geez, can’t they just follow a script’? Chatbots always do.
-Nothing kills engagement and client conversion like waiting. Legal consumers are particularly impatient. So, what happens when a legal consumer is waiting for a live agent to appear? That legal consumer moves to another website. Chatbots are never late.
-Since live chat agents are real people, they make real money. So, live chat costs more than a chatbot. And, if the goal of intake is to follow a script and qualify clients, doing so directly, rather than by an agent, as alluded to above, can be 100% accurate, and far cheaper. Chatbots cost less, often much less.
So, it turns out that chatbots are a modern digital solution, built to engage and convert legal consumers, at a lower cost than live chat.
Honestly, what’s not to like?