For a long time, even deep into the 21st century, law firms were content to rely on analog processes for intake. High-touch was the watchword; and, the feeling was that that was the only version of events that a potential client would accept. But then, the coronavirus pandemic turned law firm marketing on its head, and attorneys soon realized, while despairing of traditional opportunities, that perhaps legal consumers were more willing to engage low-touch/no-touch, automated intake options than those attorneys had previously thought.
Now that that’s been settled (in much the same way that ‘work from home’ has been verified as actual work, in the modern construct), it opens up a ton of new opportunities for law firms, which can revert to totally analog procedures, adopt a hybrid model, or go full digital. Most law firms will approach the middle ground; but, there remains an opportunity for the majority of law firms to add more technology to their intake processes, which should lead to added efficiency, as well as more lead conversions.
And, digital intake tools are absolutely the best way to meet the modern law firm lead’s need for speed, for access to a lawyer. Almost always, the first business to engage a lead ends up picking up that work; and, that’s true in legal, as well. However, the problem with analog tools is that they require impatient customers to wait.
Let’s take an example: Live chat can be expensive, but functions like a phone call taking place online. There’s an operator, who may or may not be available. The consumer waits to be connected. Sometimes, the operator is able to schedule an appointment, sometimes not. That’s an analog process, converted to the web.
Now, consider a chatbot, which may utilize the same script that a live chat operator would be using, but that provides immediate answers, in real-time, and which could book a lead to an appointment with the appropriate person once a few qualifying questions have been answered. That’s a digital process, built for the web.
Given the speed and accuracy with which a digital agent can operate, it may mean the difference between just getting a lead and converting a client.