A survey conducted by Harvard Business Review found that how quickly a business responds to a prospective client who’s reaching out determines how likely it is that that prospect will become a paying client. Martindale-Avvo says that in general, it’s recommended to respond to a chat inquiry within 5 minutes.
In other words, time is of the essence when it comes to turning a potential client into a committed, paying one. Responding quickly creates a positive first impression of your services and your level of commitment to providing value from the start.
Thus, for your law firm to succeed, it’s clear that if a prospective client reaches out to you, you should respond quickly, and the right way. But how do you manage this lead response time with everything else you have on your plate?
Let’s look at some of the different ways in which you can respond to your leads quickly and efficiently.
There are two ways in which you can use chat to respond to leads: chatbots or a live chat agent.
Chatbots are computer programs designed to mimic human conversation, especially over the internet. You’ve probably seen a chatbot on the bottom-right hand corner of many websites you’ve visited, prompting you to ask it a question. You can program a chatbot to initiate a conversation with a website visitor after they’ve been on your site for a specific period of time or simply have the chatbot there to reply in case the visitor reaches out first. Some examples include LawDroid, Chatfuel and YoTengoBot, a multilingual AI-powered chatbot specifically designed to answer immigration law inquiries and which Docketwise integrates with.
If you’re less inclined to use a chatbot and more inclined to have a live human, you can hire a live chat agent to answer basic, frequently asked questions for which they would have prepared answers. Live chat agents are often offered at a flat rate and have free trial periods, which allows you some time to test a service out before you commit. Some of the companies we referenced in our virtual receptionist recommendations below, like Ruby and Smith.ai offer live chat services as well.
If you want to explore the option of calls and text, these can often be done through apps that also have live chat capabilities. Here are some of our favorites, some of which we’ve mentioned in previous articles as suggested tech tools for your basic setup:
While chat may be the best choice for some prospective clients, others prefer speaking to law firms over the phone. In order to avoid personally taking phone calls all day or hiring an army of full-time assistants, consider working with a virtual receptionist. In short, a virtual receptionist is a contracted individual, working solo or as part of an agency, whose job it is to manage your inbound calls, schedule appointments, and address basic questions. Depending on the service you sign up for, they can be available up to 24/7.
Hiring a virtual receptionist can be a way to avoid missed calls and improve your response time by having someone available to answer them as they come in, thereby giving you a greater likelihood of securing the individual as a client by addressing their immediate questions and setting up a consultation without delay.
We’ve actually written a separate blog post about legal-focused virtual receptionist services, but at a glance, a few that we recommended looking into are Smith.ai, Ruby and Helpsquad.
Ultimately, hiring a virtual receptionist for your immigration law firm can be a great way to consolidate your inbound leads and make sure that prospective clients are receiving a response quickly and in a consistent manner.
Capitalize on the clients that are ready to move forward by providing a quick and seamless way for them to schedule time with you. Online scheduling tools like Calendly and Zoho Bookings are oftentimes free, easy to plug into your website, and will provide reminders and ways to schedule both in-person and virtual meetings, depending on how you’re running your firm. Appointments scheduled through these platforms can be set up to sync with your Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook or whatever online calendar tool you use so you can see all your appointments in one place.
Setting up an email sequence (sometimes called a “drip campaigns”) is a common digital marketing strategy used to engage with a prospective client quickly and consistently. Email sequences can be set up to send an automatic email prompting a prospective client to learn about something or take a next step. In the context of immigration law, email sequences can be used when a prospective client visits your law firm website and, say, completes a contact form, signs up for your newsletter update, or downloads a free resource like a how-to guide.The email drip campaign then automatically sends subsequent messages at predetermined intervals keeping your firm top-of-mind and perhaps prompting the prospect to reach out and set up a consultation if they have any questions or need any immigration support.
Here is a sample sequence you can set up for your emails as a law firm:
There are a number of tools you can use to set up your email sequence - some of the most popular ones include MailChimp and ConstantContact. One thing to keep in mind is to make sure you are giving people options to unsubscribe and otherwise follow any and all anti-spam laws in your state.
Once you get a prospective client in your sales funnel, you need to make sure you have all the right tools in place to track interactions with that prospective client and then manage their entire case when they actually convert to a paying client. That’s where Docketwise comes in.
With Docketwise Leads CRM, you can track your correspondence with a prospective client, engage them at each step of their immigration journey, and manage your law firm’s growth. And when it comes time to handling the actual case, Docketwise’s leading immigration form software and menu of integrations with other industry-leading tools helps you every step of the way.
If you want to learn more about Docketwise, schedule a demo at the link below, or sign up for our Immigration Briefings newsletter for daily and weekly immigration updates!